Friday morning, now just two days before the start of the American League Championship Series (ALCS), Texas Rangers manager Bruce Bochy hopped on the phone with the Dunham & Miller Morning Show of 1310 The Ticket fame. In all it was a fantastic interview, but the biggest and latest nugget of good news for Rangers fans came about 2/3 of the way into it when host Craig Miller asked the Texas skipper about the rotation for the upcoming series, as well as the status of injured starter Max Scherzer. The exchange went as follows:
Craig Miller: "You mentioned you're not sure how their (Houston's) rotation will fall, yet. How will yours fall, and what are the odds we see Max Scherzer in that rotation?"
Bruce Bochy: "Well first of all, we hadn't announced it, (sic), our rotation, and we always tell the pitchers first, so uh, but you know ..."
Miller: "I was hoping you'd tell us first."
Bochy: "Yeah, yeah, but I think you know ... pretty much the first two that will be out there. As far as Max, yeah ... I would say there's a good chance. He threw the ball really well facing hitters a couple of days ago. (He) got up and down four times, threw sixty what ... nine pitches or whatever and ... I was really encouraged with where he's at. That's coming off an outing in Baltimore where he threw two innings there and I thought he looked really good. It's just a matter of how he feels today as we get into Houston. I mean, we have time before we set this roster, so it's always smart to wait until at the end to make sure everybody's healthy before you set it so you don't get caught in a situation where you have to IL somebody and then you lose them for the next round."
We can speculate about the first two that Bochy mentioned, which will likely consist of some combination of lefty Jordan Montgomery and then righty Nathan Eovaldi to kick the series off in Houston. So could this mean Rangers fans get "Mad Max" for game three at home in Arlington? Will he start on a pitch count or stay available out of the bullpen?
Either way, "some Max" is better than "no Max" for the Rangers and his contributions can only bolster what has already been a stellar pitching staff this postseason. We'll likely find out within the next 24 hours what his role could look like on this staff when the teams announce their ALCS rosters. Let's hope there's more good news!