Saturday, July 20, 2024

Max Scherzer Back Surgery for Herniated Disc

ARLINGTON — The Rangers’ need for deep starting pitching became a little more apparent. Max Scherzer had back surgery on a herniated disc on Thursday, according to general manager Chris Young.

Young said Scherzer tried several “conservative treatments in pain management,” but the pain never went away. Ultimately, it was decided that surgery was the best course of action. Young did not provide an exact timetable, but indicated that the surgery would delay the start of Scherzer’s season until at least June or July.

The 39-year-old ace was traded by the Mets to the Rangers at the trade deadline last season for Luis Angel Acuna. He made eight starts for Texas, going 4-2 with a 3.20 ERA.

Scherzer left Game 3 of the World Series with back pain after three scoreless frames. He said he was “pretty locked in” at the time. He was removed from the World Series roster prior to Game 5, which would eventually clinch the Series.

“After returning to my offseason home in Florida, the discomfort in my back continued to worsen,” Scherzer said in a statement. I decided to undergo the recommended surgery. Getting this process done now will give the Rangers the best chance to pitch in 2024. I’m looking forward to rehabbing and getting back on the mountain next summer.”

Scherzer missed the final six weeks of the 2023 regular season with a sprain in his right shoulder, but managed to start three postseasons as the Rangers won the first World Series title in franchise history.

Young said he does not believe the shoulder injury and back injury are related.

“I’ll tell you this. Max, in my experience, has a very high threshold for pain, and he knows his body really well,” Young said. “When he feels something, he’s very open and honest about how he feels. I think that’s helped us manage these things,

The Rangers’ Opening Day rotation now consists of Nathan Ewaldi, John Gray, Dan Dunning, Andrew Heaney and Cody Bradford. Ace Jacob de Grom and new signing Tyler Mahle are both expected to return from Tommy John at the same time as Scherzer.

Rangers minor league prospect Owen White (No. 8 prospect, an MLB pipeline), Cole Wynn (No. 28) and Jack Kent (NR) are on the 40-man roster. But White is the only player with major league experience after making two appearances last season.

Young said Scherzer’s injury won’t affect how active the Rangers will be in getting starting pitching.

Asked if the club still wanted to buy at least one “established” starter, Young said: “We’re certainly not going to rule out that opportunity.”

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