Scherzer finally has surgery…expected to return next June/July

Max Scherzer (Texas Rangers) is on the operating table. He’ll be out for an extended period of time.

The Rangers announced the news of Schuerzer’s herniated disc surgery on Saturday (Aug. 16), saying that he will be out until midway through the 2024 season.

According to MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball (MLB), Texas general manager Chris Young said, “We tried a number of treatments to manage Scherzer’s pain, but the pain didn’t go away. It was determined that surgery was the best option.” Young did not provide a specific timeline, but noted that “Scherzer’s return is expected to be in June or July of next year at the earliest.”

“After returning home to Florida in the offseason, my back pain continued to worsen, during which time I was diagnosed with a herniated disc,” Scherzer said. “After several rounds of conservative treatment and consultations with multiple specialists, I made the decision to have surgery. I believe that completing this process will give me the best chance to pitch as much as possible for Texas in 2024. I look forward to a successful rehabilitation and getting back on the mound next summer.”

Scherzer, who made his big league debut in 2008 with the Arizona Diamondbacks, has spent time with the Detroit Tigers, Washington Nationals, Los Angeles Dodgers, and New York Mets. He is a three-time winner of the Cy Young Award, which recognizes the top pitcher in Major League Baseball. He was honored in 2013, 2016, and 2017. In 457 career big league games, he has a 214-108 record with a 3.15 ERA.

However, since 2019, he has struggled with injuries to his back, forearm, and other areas. Despite his injuries, he signed a three-year, $130 million contract with the Mets in November 2021, setting the record for the highest salary in Major League Baseball history ($43.33 million). The record was recently broken by Shohei Ohtani, who signed a 10-year, $700 million deal with the Dodgers.

This season, Scherzer was traded to Texas after playing for the Mets. His season ended prematurely in mid-September when he was placed on the disabled list (IL) with right shoulder and arm muscle soreness. After about a month of rehabilitation, Scherzer made the roster for the American League Championship Series (ALCS) against the Houston Astros in Game 7. He started Game 3 and took the loss, allowing five runs in four innings. He was pulled early in Game 7 after allowing two runs in 2⅔ innings.

Scherzer also started Game 3 of the World Series (WS-7) against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He pitched three scoreless innings before leaving the mound with back pain and was eventually removed from the roster during the World Series. Texas rallied to win their first World Series title in franchise history. Scherzer’s contribution wasn’t great.

After the season, he was hampered by another back injury. Texas will have to fill the starting rotation void with another pitcher next season. It’s not an easy task. “We were hoping for a healthy Scherzer at the start of the season (next year),” Young lamented, before adding, “I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of bringing in a ‘sure thing’ starter.”

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