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Max Scherzer Nears Return; deGrom Throwing the Mound

The Rangers dropped their fourth straight game 14-2 at the hands of the Mets tonight. That continues a difficult month-long stretch that has dropped the defending World Series champions six games below .500.

In terms of Monday’s silver lining for Rangers fans, it was that the team gave good news about the injury. Manager Bruce Bochy told the media that Max Scherzer’s next start will be at the big league level (X link via Jeff Wilson of Rangers Today). While Bochy did not specify a date for the Hall of Famer’s next season, it appears that it will fall during this weekend’s series against the Royals.

A herniated disc sent Scherzer to the operating table last December. The initial recovery timeline called for a June or July return. Scherzer appeared ahead of schedule earlier in the year before discomfort in his right thumb slowed his progress. The three-time Cy Young winner resumed rehab on June 9. He made two stints with Triple-A Round Rock, throwing 79 pitches over 4 2/3 innings on Saturday.

Texas has five starters Nathan Eovaldi, John Gray, Michael Lorenzen, Dane Dunning again Andrew Heaney. Unless Texas opts for a six-man rotation, Scherzer’s return will bump someone from that team into the bullpen. It certainly won’t be Eovaldi or Gray. The Rangers signed Lorenzen to fill the sixth starter/swinger role, but he has turned in a 2.86 ERA while working six innings per appearance in 11 starts. Even with average strikeout and walk numbers, Lorenzen has likely entered long-term swing territory.

Heaney, who will take the ball against the Mets on Wednesday, has started 13 of 14 games. The southpaw owns a 4.19 ERA with a respectable 21.4% strikeout percentage and a solid 6.2% walk rate – similar numbers to what he turned up in his first season in Arlington. Dunning has struggled this season, allowing 4.73 runs over nine innings. While his 26.7% strikeout rate leads the way for Texas starters, the University of Florida product issued walks at an unusual 11.6% clip while struggling with the home run ball.

Scherzer has been placed on the injured list for the rest of the season Tyler Mahle again Jacob deGrom. Mahle started facing the hitters earlier this month as he worked behind the scenes on Tommy John’s show last May. deGrom, who underwent similar surgery in early June 2023, is not far behind. He hit a milestone in his rehab Monday, throwing on the mound for the first time in 12 months (X link via Shawn McFarland of the Dallas Morning News). deGrom was aiming to return to MLB action sometime in August.

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