NEW YORK - He's baaaack. Well, almost.
Prior to the Mets' series opener with the Texas Rangers on Friday at Citi Field, co-ace Max Scherzer revealed that he will return from the IL to pitch his next turn in the big-league rotation.
According to Scherzer, the Mets are targeting Tuesday in Cincinnati, which will be his first start in the majors since going down with an oblique strain on May 18.
Despite initially hoping to return last Sunday in Miami, Scherzer's body told him he needed one more rehab start, which he made on Wednesday night for Double A Binghamton. During this outing, Scherzer stretched out to 80 pitches across 4 1/3 innings, and is now looking at a potential big-league start of six innings, 90-pitches against the Reds.
“I had to work through some traffic, was about to come back out and get five ups in, get 80 pitches in, and everything felt good, so I’m good to go,” Scherzer said.
Scherzer will get six days of rest in between starts, but this will not effect how many times he takes the mound before the All-Star break. What it might effect is whether he pitches for the Mets in their pivotal three-game series in Atlanta against the Braves from July 11-13. Should Scherzer stay on an extra day of rest, he would take the bump for New York at Truist Park in the series opener in Atlanta on the 11th. But manager Buck Showalter didn't want to get too far ahead when asked about it.
"When you look at the history and timeline of this injury, he has met all the criteria," said Showalter.
Scherzer is confident that he has gotten past the rehab portion of his oblique injury, and can now focus on pitching. The 37-year-old said there are new exercises he will have to include in his workout routine for the rest of his career in order to diminish the risk of suffering this injury again. This isn't the first injury that Scherzer, and other big-league pitchers, have had to implement maintenance work for.
The three-time Cy Young Award winner has been extremely conscious of listening to his body in order to avoid a setback during his rehab process. He has now cleared the final hurdle needed to rejoin the big-league staff.