ATLANTA (AP) Max Scherzer will not make his scheduled start for Washington against Atlanta on Tuesday night because of a sprained right thumb.
Manager Matt Williams said Scherzer may be ready to start within a few days.
''I would think that before another five days he'd be OK to go,'' Williams said Monday. ''We have to get him on a (mound) and make sure he can throw all his pitches. So that may happen tomorrow.''
Williams said Scherzer had difficulty throwing his slider due to the thumb, which the pitcher jammed while batting against St. Louis on Thursday. Scherzer could not throw in the bullpen session Sunday.
In the first year of a $210 million, seven-year contract, Scherzer is 1-2 with a 1.26 ERA in four starts.
Williams said he did not intend to announce a replacement starter until after Monday night's game against the Braves. He said right-hander Tanner Roark, who has made six relief appearances, could start but might last only 50 to 60 pitches.
Roark was 15-10 with a 2.85 ERA in 31 starts last year.
''Tanner's fully loaded if we want to go that way,'' Williams said.
Right-hander A.J. Cole could be recalled from Triple-A Syracuse after being held out of scheduled start Monday.
''That's an `in case,''' Williams said.
Third baseman Anthony Rendon was scratched from a scheduled injury rehabilitation game with Double-A Harrisburg on Monday due to fatigue. Recovering from a left knee sprain, Rendon was 2 for 4 with a double in his first two games.
Williams said Rendon is working at third base and second base at Harrisburg in preparation to play both positions with the Nationals.
AP freelance writer Amy Jinkner-Lloyd contributed to this report.