Rangers' Max Scherzer scratched from 2nd scheduled rehab start because of sore thumb

Tue, Apr 30, 2024
MLB News (AP)

Rangers' Max Scherzer scratched from 2nd scheduled rehab start because of sore thumb

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Texas Rangers right-hander Max Scherzer was scratched from his second scheduled rehab start Tuesday because of thumb soreness.

The soreness is similar to what Scherzer experienced last year before being sidelined for the end of the regular season and the start of the playoffs for the World Series champion Rangers.

Scherzer is rehabbing from surgery in mid-December to repair a herniated disk in his lower back, and said that isn't giving him any issues.

"I'm frustrated. You want to be out there pitching. I've put myself in a position to get back out there," Scherzer said in the Rangers' clubhouse. "Coming off the back surgery, I've jumped through every hoop and really been putting myself in position to help the team out sooner than anybody thought. And the reason I'm not going out there is a thumb injury."

Texas manager Bruce Bochy classified it as a "minor setback" for the three-time Cy Young Award winner.

"You're talking days, not weeks," Bochy said.

The 39-year-old Scherzer had been scheduled to start for Double-A Frisco at Corpus Christi on Tuesday night. That was six days after the eight-time All-Star threw 52 pitches into the third inning of his first rehab start for Triple-A Round Rock.

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Scherzer said the inside ligament on his right thumb bothered him some in a simulated game before that, but he was able to manage in the start for Round Rock. Things changed in the last few days while preparing to start another game.

"Coming out of the bullpen, it was just going to get worse. And then it was starting to leak into the forearm. The forearm was starting to get tight on me," he said. "Just need a couple days to let everything breathe, get everything back underneath me. There's nothing really structurally wrong. It's just some discomfort and just need to let it subside so nothing bad happens."

The Rangers acquired Scherzer from the Mets in a deadline trade last July after the pitcher agreed to opt in on the final year of his contract for this season at $43.3 million. New York is paying $30.83 million of that to Texas in twice-monthly installments.

After the trade, Scherzer was 4-2 with a 3.20 ERA in eight starts for the Rangers, the last in the regular season on Sept. 12 before being sidelined by a muscle strain in his shoulder. He returned to make two starts in the American League Championship Series, then Game 3 of the World Series before exiting after three innings because of his back.

Scherzer said Tuesday he had some thumb soreness in the regular season last year that became forearm tightness and led to the shoulder issue.

"That was the progression last year, and this was starting to mimic it," he said.

As for the rehab of his back and how it was recovering, Scherzer said he had the kind of velocity he would have in spring training in the start for Round Rock. He said it was a normal ramp-up in an effort to get back into the Rangers' rotation.

His 3,367 career strikeouts are the most among active pitchers, and he is second on the active list with 214 wins and 448 games started.

"We'll let this thing clear up a little," Bochy said. "You have to expect these things, especially when a guy's coming back from a pretty good layoff. The good news is it's not his back. His thumb's a little sore, and that will clear up."

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