Rangers pitchers Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer hoping for mid-season return

Texas Rangers pitcher Jacob deGrom waits to throw during spring training baseball practice Sunday, Feb. 19, 2023, in Surprise, Ariz. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

The reigning World Series champion Texas Rangers may find themselves with two aces in the hole by the middle of the 2024 season. Pitchers Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer are both eyeing mid-summer for their returns to the mound.

DeGrom, a two-time Cy Young winner, is recovering from elbow surgery, while Scherzer is on the mend from a December procedure to correct a herniated disk in his lower back.

Both pitchers were on hand for the Rangers’ annual FanFest and addressed their respective timetables to return to Texas’ lineup.

“When we get us back here, hopefully somewhere around the trade deadline, it’s like picking up a couple guys,” deGrom said via ESPN.

Said Scherzer: “We won the World Series, so everything’s great. You’ve got to keep the glass half-full mentality to this.”

FILE- Texas Rangers' Max Scherzer flips the ball in the air as he paces the dugout during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2023, in Phoenix. Scherzer had surgery for a herniated disc in his lower back and will miss the start of next season for the World Series champion Texas Rangers. General manager Chris Young said Friday, Dec. 15, 2023, that Scherzer, who was removed from the roster during the World Series because of back discomfort, had surgery Thursday, Dec. 14, after injections and other less-evasive treatments didn't relieve the pain. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

Texas Rangers’ Max Scherzer had surgery for a herniated disc in his lower back and will miss the start of next season for the World Series champion Texas Rangers. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

The 39-year-old, who was acquired from the New York Mets at the trade deadline, was a key part of the Rangers’ rotation in the final stretch of the season. Before missing the final two weeks and opening two rounds of the playoffs due to a pulled muscle in his shoulder, Scherzer was 4-2 with a 3.20 ERA in eight starts.

He was eventually able to come back and start twice in the American League Championship Series, but his shoulder injury flared up again and he pitched in only three innings of Game 3 of the World Series. Scherzer, a three-time Cy Young winner, underwent surgery on Dec. 15.

Scherzer joined deGrom in the Texas rotation after the latter inked a five-year, $185 million deal last offseason. His elbow injury limited him to only six starts and 30⅓ innings before he was shut down.

DeGrom went 2-0 with a 2.67 ERA and 45 strikeouts.

By spring, the 35-year-old said he plans to be throwing and explained that he needs to complete a plyometric training program prior to that point. Scherzer said he’s in a good place with his recovery and got past the six-week, post-surgery period with no setbacks.

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