TORONTO — Texas Rangers right-hander Max Scherzer will miss the rest of the regular season, and likely wouldn’t be able to pitch in the playoffs if they make the postseason, because of a strained muscle in his shoulder.
Rangers general manager Chris Young said an MRI on Wednesday revealed a low-grade strain of the teres major muscle that won’t require surgery. That came a day after Scherzer departed his start at Toronto in the sixth inning.
“In some ways I was almost relieved that it’s not worse. It’s not surgery,” Scherzer said. “Talking with the doctors, I fully expect to make a full recovery.”
Young said team physician Dr. Keith Meister feels confident that the injury will fully heal. The GM said the shoulder just needs rest, but there are only 2 1/2 weeks left in the regular season as the Rangers try to make the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
“Unfortunately, the timing of the schedule isn’t going to line up to where we can provide him rest, and he’ll still pitch again, certainly before the regular season,” said Young, who was then asked about the postseason. “I don’t want to rule it out at this point. We’ll see where the next two weeks go and how he’s feeling. That said, it’s probably unlikely.”
The Rangers recalled right-handed reliever Jonathan Hernández from Triple-A Round Rock. Young didn’t say how they will fill Scherzer’s spot in the rotation, other than it will be somebody already on the 28-man roster.
Scherzer, whose 3,367 career strikeouts are the most among active pitchers, will be reevaluated in two weeks. He finished the season 13-6 with a 3.77 ERA in 27 starts for the Mets and Rangers, striking out 174 in 152 2/3 innings.
It was the third consecutive abbreviated start for the three-time Cy Young Award winner who Texas acquired from the New York Mets at the trade deadline.
Scherzer allowed a season-high seven runs, all on the homers, while throwing 60 pitches over three innings against Houston last Wednesday. That came five days after he threw one-hit ball over six scoreless innings against Minnesota. But he left after 88 pitches, later saying he was dealing with some forearm tightness.
The eight-time All-Star, who is signed with Texas through next season, allowed three hits, walked one and struck out two in 5 1/3 scoreless innings Tuesday night. He picked up the win in a game that saw the Rangers leapfrog Toronto into the second AL wild-card spot.
“This team has shown a ton of resolve all season long. We’ve lost five of six All-Stars in the second half at different periods. We’ve now lost a future Hall of Fame pitcher,” Young said. “Yet here we are in a great position to make a run here at the end of the season and make a playoff push.’”
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