Nationals

McHale unsure of White's future with Rockets

McHale unsure of White's future with Rockets

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) The question seemed to catch Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale totally off guard.

What is Royce White's status with the team?

``Good question,'' McHale said, taking an extended pause to contemplate his answer. ``I don't know. Royce has kind of been away from us.''

The 16th overall pick in the June draft hasn't been around all season while he spars with the Rockets on how best to deal with his anxiety disorder and overall mental health. White has been vocal on Twitter, at times expressing frustration with the Rockets' perceived unwillingness to be accommodating to his condition. He tweeted last week that the Rockets had yet to approve a mental health protocol that would allow him to return to work.

``Should I QUIT playing (because of) a (hashtag) MentalHealth protocol isn't in place?'' White tweeted. ``OR should we PUT 1 in place.''

When McHale was asked about White on Wednesday night before a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, the coach reacted as if the swingman was one of the furthest things from his mind.

``He hasn't been around,'' McHale said. ``I haven't seen him. As crazy as it sounds, you're just kind of going with the guys who are there.''

Of course, McHale has had other things on his mind as well. He returned to the team on Dec. 8 after nearly a month away to be with his family following the death of his 23-year-old daughter Sasha. In his first game back in his home state since Sasha's passing, McHale was visibly emotional during pregame introductions, especially when the Wolves honored longtime fan Michael Stephenson, who suffered from cerebral palsy but was befriended by McHale during his time as an executive and a coach here.

So far, the Rockets have been playing pretty well without White, a versatile forward the team drafted out of Iowa State in hopes of adding the multidimensional talents that made him one of the stars of last year's NCAA tournament.

After dropping his first two games back, the Rockets had won four straight and six of their last seven heading into the game against McHale's former team. Greg Smith and Marcus Morris have been pleasant surprises in the frontcourt while Jeremy Lin has started to figure out how to thrive alongside scorer James Harden in the backcourt.

When asked if White would ever be back with the Rockets, McHale replied simply, ``I hope so.''

---

Follow Jon Krawczynski on Twitter:http://twitter.com/APKrawczynski

Quick Links

Max Scherzer's named Thursday's starter and penciled in for the postseason

Max Scherzer's named Thursday's starter and penciled in for the postseason

WASHINGTON -- So, it’s settled: Max Scherzer will pitch Thursday.

The Nationals’ best pitcher played catch in right field Tuesday. He felt well a day after a full bullpen session. He, finally, is aligned to make his first start since July 6.

Why Thursday? Well, this is where things are more interesting. Davey Martinez and his staff mapped out Scherzer’s possible starts from Thursday to the end of the season to see how he lines up if he would pitch every fifth game (not every fifth day because of scheduled off-days). If he pitches Thursday, this is how the rest of his season would look:

July 25 vs. Colorado

July 30 vs. Atlanta

Aug. 5 at San Francisco

Aug. 11 at New York

Aug. 17 vs. Milwaukee

Aug. 22 at Pittsburgh

Aug. 28 vs. Baltimore

Sept. 5 vs. New York

Sept. 8 at Atlanta

Sept. 14 vs. Atlanta

Sept. 20 at Miami

Sept. 25 vs. Philadelphia

Oct. 1 Wild-Card Game

Note three appearances against the first-place Braves. Consider a late-September start against Philadelphia. Then, of course, being on an extra day of rest should the wild-card game be necessary.

“You know Max,” Martinez said. “He wants to pitch today. He wants to pitch tomorrow. He wants to pitch Friday, Saturday, Sunday.”

Can things go wrong between now and then? Yes. A rainout could move Scherzer around. A recurrence of the mid-back strain which put him on the 10-day injured list July 13, retroactive to July 10, could happen. But, the Nationals took the time to map this out when considering whether Scherzer will pitch Thursday opposite Colorado or Friday against the mighty Los Angeles Dodgers. 

One wrinkle in this projection: The final series of the season is at Nationals Park versus Cleveland. The Indians start play Tuesday just three games out of the division lead in the American League Central and two ahead for a wild-card spot. Which means Cleveland could be playing for everything (from the division title, to hosting the wild-card game, to just getting into the postseason) or nothing because it has clinched a spot. Scherzer would not be on schedule for that series.

More immediately, Monday’s rainout forced the Nationals to massage their rotation. Erick Fedde was moved from Monday’s start to the first game of Wednesday’s split day-night doubleheader. Anibal Sanchez will pitch Friday. Joe Ross is expected to fill the open spot Saturday. Patrick Corbin, Scherzer and Sanchez will line up to face Atlanta when it visits next week.

There was one other starting pitcher issue exposed Tuesday. Austin Voth (right biceps tendinitis) has stopped throwing. He will have an MRI this week and his future is to be determined. Not so for Scherzer. He's expected back Thursday, then Oct. 1, if necessary.

MORE NATIONALS NEWS:

Quick Links

Wawa chooses the Ravens as new partners, much to the chagrin of Philly fans

Wawa chooses the Ravens as new partners, much to the chagrin of Philly fans

The world's best convenience store/gas station/sandwich shop has partnered with the Baltimore Ravens. 

Yes, Wawa is now the “official hoagie” of the Ravens. 

It's the partnership that Ravens' fans didn't even know they needed. If there is a lottery, the Ravens just won.

As Wawa celebrates its 50th year in Maryland, there will be several promotions that fans will be able to partake in. Opportunities to win tickets to games, co-branded merchandise, and unique experiences are just a handful of benefits Ravens fans can now take advantage of. You'll also see a lot more of Wawa at M&T Bank Stadium.

Choosing Wawa over Royal Farms (and that other store Sheetz) is clearly a top-tier partnership between two of the biggest brands in the Baltimore Metro area. And there is no doubt that there could not be a more perfect partnership between an NFL franchise and a convenience shop. 

"Wawa is thrilled to partner with the Ravens to make deeper connections with some of the best fans in football and reach communities all over the city of Baltimore and beyond,” Adam Schall, the senior director of store operations for Maryland said in a press release.

Our friends over in Philadelphia are not enthused:

But it is simple: the better store went with the better team. 

MORE RAVENS NEWS: