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Max Scherzer could be back in Rangers rotation if rehab start goes well

 The Associated Press  |    Jun 15th, 2024 6:20pm EDT

SEATTLE (AP) — Max Scherzer could rejoin the Texas Rangers rotation if all goes well with his final rehab start in the minors, manager Bruce Bochy said Saturday.

Scherzer was scheduled to start Saturday night for Triple-A Round Rock. Bochy said the three-time Cy Young Award winner was limited to about 75 pitches, but the hope was it would be his last stint in the minors.

Scherzer made his second rehab start for Round Rock last Sunday and retired 12 of 14 batters. Scherzer threw 53 pitches and allowed one hit and walked one.

Scherzer’s first rehab start was 52 pitches for Round Rock on April 24, but the second start was pushed back because of right thumb soreness that team doctors later identified as a nerve issue that extended to his right triceps. He had back surgery in mid-December, and hasn’t pitched for the Rangers since the World Series.

Scherzer said he has been dealing with the thumb issue for more than a year.

The Rangers acquired Scherzer from the New York Mets in a deadline trade last July after the pitcher agreed to opt in on the final year of his contract for this season at $43.3 million. New York is paying $30.83 million of that to Texas in twice-monthly installments.

After the trade, Scherzer was 4-2 with a 3.20 ERA in eight starts for Texas, the last in the regular season on Sept. 12 before being sidelined by a muscle strain in his shoulder. He returned to make two starts in the American League Championship Series, then Game 3 of the World Series before exiting after three innings because of his back.

His 3,367 strikeouts are second among active pitchers — Justin Verlander has passed him with 48 this season for Houston to get to 3,390. Scherzer is also second to Verlander on the active lists with 214 wins and 448 starts.


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