Scherzer: 'I'm ready to go' for Rangers in ALCS

Pitching coach says club is 'encouraged' by veteran's progress from shoulder injury

October 15th, 2023

ARLINGTON -- said he does pitchers’ fielding practice only twice a year: once in Spring Training, and once before the postseason begins.

On Friday, two days ahead of the Rangers’ American League Championship Series matchup with the Astros, Scherzer did PFPs at Globe Life Field, signaling his potential return to the mound. Now he’ll wait to hear what his next step will be.

The 39-year-old has been sidelined since Sept. 13 with a low grade strain of the teres major muscle in his right shoulder. He threw live batting practice Wednesday of about 65 pitches before following with a bullpen session and PFPs on Friday. If he was making the decision, Scherzer said he would be ready to go.

“I recovered,” Scherzer told reporters Friday. “I checked all the boxes I possibly can. I’m ready to go. I respect what Houston can do. They’re obviously a great team. I’ve got to bring my A-game.”

Acquired from the Mets at the Trade Deadline, Scherzer posted a 3.20 ERA across eight starts before landing on the injured list. 

He has continued his throwing program throughout his time on the IL, hoping to return if the Rangers made a deep run in the postseason. 

“We've been talking through this whole process with the doctors as well, about where we thought this should trend, what we should be feeling,” Scherzer said. “We all have a hand in this, and we're all trying to make the best decision possible.”

Manager Bruce Bochy did not speak to the media Friday. But pitching coach Mike Maddux confirmed that Scherzer is progressing in the right direction.

“We’re very encouraged,” Maddux said. “He threw I think 68 [pitches] against hitters and maintained his stuff. He didn't skip a beat from one to 68. That was the encouraging part. He needs to sharpen up a little bit. But overall [it was] very encouraging, and the fact that he bounced back and played a good game of catch yesterday. We're looking all thumbs up for today.”

If activated, Scherzer would likely slot in behind Game 1 starter Jordan Montgomery and Nathan Eovaldi in the rotation. The Rangers piggybacked Andrew Heaney and Dane Dunning to start Game 1 of the AL Division Series against the Orioles after Montgomery and Eovaldi started the two games in the Wild Card Series sweep over the Rays.