Texas Rangers fans have plenty to celebrate today. Not only did their team just sweep the Baltimore Orioles -- the No. 1 seed in the American League -- in the ALDS, but they also might be getting their ace back very soon.
According to Evan Grant of Dallas Morning News, Scherzer is nearing a return from the shoulder strain that has kept him sidelined for nearly a month.
Max Scherzer Injury Update
Per Grant, Scherzer will throw a simulated game on Wednesday. Assuming it goes well, he could be in line to return during the ALCS.
That would be a huge boost to Texas' pitching staff, which has been without Scherzer for nearly a month. The three-time Cy Young winner hasn't pitched since Sept. 12, when he exited his start against the Toronto Blue Jays early with a right shoulder injury.
Fortunately, the Rangers still made the playoffs without him and have already advanced through the first two rounds of the postseason. The ALCS begins on Sunday against the winner of the Houston Astros-Minnesota Twins series, so Scherzer still has a few more days to recover.
If he's able to pitch, it's unclear whether he'll return to the rotation or pitch out of the bullpen. Using him as a super-reliever might be Bruce Bochy's preferred option at first given that Scherzer hasn't pitched in a month and will need some time to build up his arm strength.
Regardless of Scherzer's role, Texas will benefit from getting one of its top pitchers back. Prior to going down, Scherzer was 13-6 with a 3.77 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP, including 4-2 with a 3.20 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP in 8 starts since joining the Rangers at the trade deadline.
If Scherzer picks up where he left off, the former World Series champ could play a crucial role over the next few weeks in helping Texas try to win its title in franchise history.
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