MLB

Texas Rangers' Max Scherzer to miss start of 2024

By Sports Desk December 15, 2023

The Texas Rangers will be without key pitcher Max Scherzer for possibly the first half of the 2024 season after the three-time Cy Young Award winner underwent back surgery this week, the team announced Friday. 

Scherzer issued a statement revealing he had surgery Thursday to repair a herniated disk in his back that has been bothering him all offseason. The injury also forced his removal from the Rangers' roster prior to the end of the 2023 World Series, which Texas won in five games over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

"After returning to my offseason home in Florida, my discomfort in my back continued to get worse,” Scherzer said. “During this time I received the diagnosis of a herniated disk.  After several conservative treatments and consulting with multiple specialists, I made the decision to have the recommended surgery.

"Getting this procedure done now will give me the best chance to pitch as much as possible for the Rangers in 2024. I look forward to putting in the rehab work and getting back on the mound next summer."

Rangers general manager Chris Young told reporters Friday that Scherzer will likely be sidelined into June or July. 

Scherzer was forced out of his Game 3 start of the World Series after three innings with what was initially described as back tightness. The 39-year-old also missed the final few weeks of the regular season with a muscle strain in his right shoulder before returning for the American League Championship Series between Texas and the Houston Astros.

The eight-time All-Star also missed time with injuries in 2022 while then with the New York Mets, as he was limited to 23 starts and 145 1/3 innings that year. Discounting the COVID-19 shortened 2020 campaign, both totals were his fewest in a season since his rookie year in 2008.

Texas acquired Scherzer from the Mets near the trade deadline on July 30, and he posted a 4-2 record with a 3.20 ERA in eight regular-season starts before the shoulder injury. The veteran right-hander was 0-1 with a 6.52 ERA in three post-season starts.

Scherzer compiled a 13-6 record with a 3.77 ERA and 174 strikeouts in 27 overall regular-season starts between the Mets and Rangers in 2023.

The Rangers will now begin defense of the franchise's first World Series title with two former Cy Young winners on the injured list. Jacob deGrom, Scherzer's former teammate in New York, is recovering from Tommy John surgery performed last summer and is aiming for a return in August.

“We had hoped to have a healthy Max Scherzer at the beginning of the season, obviously,” Young said when asked if the injury changes the Rangers' offseason plans. "That said, we also recognised that we were going to need pitching depth. I'm not sure it changes much in terms of building out that depth. It thins us out a little bit on the front half of the season.

"Pitching will remain a focus and we'll continue to look for any way to improve our club.”

 

 

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