The right thrower Max Scherzer declared himself “ready” after throwing another bullpen session and fielding drills on Friday, two days before the Texas Rangers open the American League Championship Series.
The Rangers haven’t said whether the three-time Cy Young Award winner will be on their ALCS roster, and that decision shouldn’t be made until Sunday before Game 1 in Houston. Scherzer has not played since Sept.
“I feel good. Recovered, I checked all the boxes I could,” said Scherzer during the workout at Globe Life Field before the team traveled to Houston. “So I’m ready to go.”
Texas manager Bruce Bochy, who did not speak to reporters Friday, and pitching coach Mike Maddux said they were encouraged by the veteran’s progress. After a bullpen session in full uniform, Scherzer fielded ground balls down both lines at Globe Life Field and also made a few plays covering first base.
“I do two days of PFP a year, one day in spring training and one day before the postseason,” Scherzer said with a smile, referring to the pitchers’ fielding practice.
Max Scherzer He said he’s confident he can get batters out and knows he’ll have to give his best game against the Astros. But I don’t know how long I will be in the game.
“I cannot answer that question. We’re going to play it by ear,” Scherzer said. “I’m going to talk to Boch and Mad Dog (Maddux), and we’ll see how it goes… We have conversations; if I feel something, I have to come out of the game.”
The bullpen session followed a simulated game on Wednesday when Scherzer threw more than 60 pitches and had several up-and-down stretches.
Scherzer, whose 3,367 strikeouts are the most among active pitchers, is 13-6 with a 3.77 ERA in 27 starts for the Mets and Rangers. He struck out 174 in 152 2/3 innings. As part of the Texas trade, Scherzer exercised his 2024 option for $43.33 million, most of which will be covered by the Mets’ payments to the Rangers.