Inbox: How much will Scherzer, deGrom pitch this season?

May 15th, 2024

This story was excerpted from Kennedi Landry’s Rangers Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers are going through their roughest patch so far this season after a sweep at the hands of the Rockies to finish off a 10-game, 10-day road trip and a series loss to the Guardians to kick off the homestand.

As Texas tries to piece things back together after a rash of injuries, it’s the perfect time for a Rangers Inbox.

If we set the over/under for 2024 MLB innings pitched by Scherzer + deGrom at 0.5, what says you? -- Tim Timothy

If you’re asking if I think we will get one full inning between and this year, I would definitely be inclined to say yes. I know Scherzer’s most recent update -- a nerve issue that extends up to his right triceps -- was not exactly what you call encouraging, but there’s still a lot of baseball left, especially as it relates to deGrom.

deGrom is progressing well and has had no setbacks as far as we know as he continues to rehab from the Tommy John surgery he underwent last June. He’s throwing from 90 feet and appears to be on the right track.

General manager Chris Young has pointed out on multiple occasions that timelines are fluid when it comes to injuries, but he also said the ace has an eye on returning around August.

I would guess we get more than one deGrom inning this season.

Where does Zeke [] fit in the bigger picture? -- DeeAnne Youkin

I think the bigger picture for Duran is exactly what we’re seeing right now and what we saw last season: a versatile player and a powerful bat that can fill at whatever position the Rangers ask of him.

In 2023, he logged appearances at shortstop (37 games), left field (34), third base (22), designated hitter (21), second base (nine), first base (two) and right field (one). He slashed .308/.344/.526 in 70 games before the All-Star break while filling in for the injured Corey Seager.

Times like this -- when both Josh Jung and Wyatt Langford are down with injuries -- emphasize the need for a quality depth bat like Duran. He’s blocked at every infield position, with all four players under team control for five years or more. The outfield is even more crowded.

Duran could be a valuable trade asset down the line, but for now, it’s clear his role isn’t changing.

What is keeping from coming up? It seems like we like to have [Jonah] Heim DH and then come into the game defensively later, so wouldn’t having three catchers be beneficial for the roster? -- Dhakan

Truthfully, the Rangers could use a third catcher, whether that’s Huff or not. It hasn’t come back to bite them just yet this season, but there have been a number of times where manager Bruce Bochy lost the DH and had to place the pitcher in the nine-hole spot in a close game.

It really just appears that what the Rangers’ staff is looking for at the far end of the bench is versatility and defensive-minded infielders. They see more use in having Davis Wendzel and Duran come off the bench and play an infield position than they do in Huff.

That being said, Texas also traded for Austin Hedges at the 2023 Deadline to be a third catcher when that easily could have been Huff. He’s shown he can hit with Triple-A Round Rock, but he hasn’t really had consistent at-bats at the big league level to truly show he can do it there. It seems he’ll either have to force their hand to call him up or an injury will have to move the needle.

Do you think the new bat tracking data will be used more responsibly than pitching data has been (i.e. not chasing various metrics to push guys past the literal breaking point), or is that a dumb question and I need to worry less? -- Phillip

Long story short: not a dumb question, but also, I would maybe worry less about this one.

There’s a lot that can be deduced and tinkered with when it comes to new data, but it’s also important to note you can swing as hard and fast as you want, and none of that matters without pure bat-to-ball skills.

Players are always going to want to improve everything about their game as much as possible -- and bat speed has been mentioned well before Statcast created empirical data for it -- but I’m not totally sure this data will have the same effect as chasing something like fastball velocity on the pitching end.

Anyway, here’s everything you need to know about Statcast's new bat-tracking data from’s Mike Petriello.