Rangers' Max Scherzer hope is no more after latest roster move

Yet another setback for the Rangers' starter.
Texas Rangers pitcher Max Scherzer
Texas Rangers pitcher Max Scherzer / Sam Hodde/GettyImages
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Injuries, injuries, and more injuries. It's been the biggest storyline surrounding the Texas Rangers this season, and one of the biggest storylines in all of baseball. Injuries are a part of the game, but this season they've affected some of the biggest names in the sport. Mike Trout, Rhys Hoskins, and Gerrit Cole are some big names all currently on the IL.

Max Scherzer is on that list as well. The former Cy Young Award winner has yet to step onto a major league mound this season after undergoing back surgery during the offseason. Scherzer, however, recovered quicker than expected and began a rehab assignment earlier this month with hopes of returning the Texas rotation before the end of May.

Those hopes were dashed, however, after Scherzer was moved from the 15-day IL to the 60-day IL in order to accommodate the inclusion of Shaun Anderson. Scherzer can still be activated from the IL before June 1, but don't count on it. The right-hander has been dealing with a nerve issue that may slow his return.

Rangers' Max Scherzer hope is no more after latest roster move

Moving a player from the 15-day to the 60-day IL at this point is more procedural than anything else. Prior to his rehab stint, Scherzer wasn't even expected to be back on the field until closer to June, if not July.

But hope is dangerous thing. After a quick recovery from offseason surgery, Scherzer was expected to be a savior of sorts for the Rangers starting rotation. But with Scherzer now dealing with a completely separate issue, who knows when he'll be back on the mound.

When Scherzer is deemed full-go, it's almost a given that another rehab assignment will be warranted. In his lone start for Triple-A Round Rock, Scherzer logged just 2 1/3 innings and faced only 11 batters. Scherzer will need to work up to at least 75-plus pitches before Texas even considers sending him out onto a big league mound.

Scherzer isn't the only Rangers' pitcher currently on the 60-day IL. Both Jacob deGrom and Tyler Mahle have been sidelined since the season began. The two Rangers' starters are both recovering from Tommy John surgery with hopes of returning later this season.

The absence of Scherzer, deGrom, and Mahle has tested the Rangers' pitching depth this season. The team has given pitching prospect Jack Leiter a number of opportunities to prove that he's worthy of a spot on the active roster. To date, he's yet to show that. Leiter was also part of the Rangers' transactions and was sent back to Triple-A.

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