After suffering a low-grade strain in his right teres major muscle, which is located in the upper arm, Max Scherzer will miss the rest of the 2023 regular season. Not only that, but he’s questionable for a return to the mound in the postseason.
Rangers GM Young said it is “unlikely” Scherzer pitches in the postseason if the Rangers make it, but they will continue to evaluate his situation. They do not expect surgery to be necessary.
“It’s certainly bad news today,” Young said. “We’re very sorry for Max obviously. It’s the last thing he wanted; he’s such a competitor and he was pitching great last night when this happened. I hate to see this for him, most importantly. From a team standpoint, this team has shown a ton of resolve all season long.
If the Rangers have lost Scherzer for both the regular season and the postseason, it’s going to be a big blow to the rotation. Scherzer has always been known as a reliable starting pitcher. In 2023, despite a high ERA that narrative has not changed. The Rangers received Max Scherzer via a trade at the 2023 trade deadline.
In his eight starts since joining the Rangers, Scherzer has gone 4-2 with a 3.20 ERA across 45 innings. In that span, he has struck out 53 batters.
“We’ve lost five of our six All-Stars in the second half and now we’ve lost a future Hall of Fame pitcher. Yet, here we are in a great position to make a run here at the end of the season and make a playoff push. So I’m very proud of the group and the fight that this team has. I don’t expect that to change.”
Scherzer, 39, was removed from his last start after 5 1/3 innings. At that time, the team said the injury was right triceps spasms. Prior to that, he had forearm tightness.
“It’s probably related, because it’s the kinetic chain,” Scherzer told reporters in Toronto on Tuesday. “That’s what’s in my head. Because I had a tight forearm, [my] tricep area picks up more stress, and all of a sudden, you know, I can’t handle it.”
With Scherzer down, the Rangers will rely heavily on Nathan Eovaldi, Jordan Montgomery, Jon Gray and Dane Dunning. Andrew Heaney is likely to resume the spot in the rotation. However, the Rangers could opt-to call up a top prospect such as Zak Kent, who is already on the 40-man roster. Martín Pérez (93 ERA+) transitioned to the bullpen after the Trade Deadline brought Scherzer and Montgomery to the Rangers’ rotation. Andrew Heaney (107 ERA+) soon followed when Eovaldi was activated off the injured list.
Rangers Rookie Cody Bradford is another guy who could slide into the rotation, with an ERA+ of 110 across 44 2/3 innings this season. He’s been quite serviceable.
“I’m confident in the pitchers that we have and our ability to fill these innings,” Young said. “I’m optimistic that we’ll be able to still get this done. … Between Andrew Heaney and Martín Pérez and Cody Bradford, these guys have all pitched successfully at different points in the season and all have been contributing members to our team this year. We’re very confident that each one of those guys can step in and fill this role. Who that’s going to be, we’re not ready to commit to that yet.”
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