WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Max Scherzer has come to grips with a finger injury – by coming up with a new, unusual grip for his fastball.

The Washington Nationals’ ace won the NL Cy Young Award last season despite a stress fracture on his right ring finger in the second half. The problem didn’t totally heal during the winter, so Scherzer is trying something different this spring.

“It is strange I’m throwing with three fingers,” Scherzer said.

His normal fastball grip – the one used by nearly every pitcher in the pros – employs two fingers on top of the ball with the ring finger bent along the side.

That formation aggravates Scherzer’s injury by pressing the ball onto the knuckle. Earlier this spring he straightened the ring finger, placing it on top of the ball with his middle and index index finger, a grip that alleviates the pressure and pain.

“What else am I going to do?” Scherzer said. “I’m willing to do it. I want to do it. It’s just part of what I’ve got to go out there and do – to pitch right now.”

Scherzer figures that altering his grip affords the knuckle time to heal while allowing him to continue to build arm strength.

“If they didn’t let me do this, then I’d be sitting here trying to test the two-finger grip left and right, and probably be hurting it even more,” Scherzer said. “If you let me throw it three fingers, I’m actually healing.”