Scherzer will miss at least rest of regular season; playoffs unlikely

September 14th, 2023

TORONTO -- Rangers ace Max Scherzer will miss the remainder of the regular season with a low-grade strain of his right teres major muscle, located in the upper arm, general manager Chris Young announced on Wednesday.

Young said it is “unlikely” Scherzer, who was placed on the 15-day injured list, 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.

“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 threw 5 1/3 scoreless innings in the Rangers’ 6-3 win over the Blue Jays on Tuesday night but was removed from the game with what the team called right triceps spasms. He also left a Sept. 1 start after six shutout innings against the Twins due to forearm tightness.

Scherzer said he had no regrets pitching in Tuesday’s contest, but noted that he believes the two injuries are related.

“For me, I will always believe that those two are related,” Scherzer said on Wednesday. “If the forearm is, you know, not at 100%, I mean that stress is gonna go somewhere else on the kinetic chain, it's gonna go somewhere else on your arm.”

The three-time Cy Young Award winner joined the Rangers after a Trade Deadline deal with the Mets. After a rough first half in New York, Scherzer posted a 3.20 ERA across eight starts in Texas. Though his "up-and-down" regular season is now over, Scherzer is grateful that his injury was not worse. 

“In some ways, I was almost relieved that it's not worse,” Scherzer said. “It's not surgery. Talking about the doctors, I fully expect to make a full recovery.”

With Scherzer down, the Rangers will need to fill out the rotation behind Nathan Eovaldi, Jordan Montgomery, Jon Gray and Dane Dunning.

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.

The two lefties are presumably at the top of the list of pitchers to slide into the rotation, though rookie Cody Bradford (110 ERA+) has been serviceable with 40 strikeouts in 44 2/3 innings this season.

“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.”