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Friday newsletter time: Why today could be a big day for Max Scherzer, Rangers

(AP photo/Tony Gutierrez)

 

ARLINGTON — The latest news about Max Scherzer was delivered Wednesday by Scherzer himself.

All imaging on the elbow, neck and triceps is clean. He has a nerve issue, and it’s an issue.

He did get some shots to help calm the nerve, and he should have an idea today when playing catch if they did their job.

If so, it could soon be full steam ahead toward bullpen sessions, live batting practice and a rehab assignment. If not, he will have to wait until the nerve calms down.

If it doesn’t, well, he’ll have to pitch through pain or not pitch at all.

It is interesting that he has consulted vascular specialist Dr. Gregory Pearl, who is known for his work with thoracic outlet syndrome. Scherzer said that his symptoms are the opposite of someone with TOS, and he doesn’t have the big one — tingling and numbness in his fingers.

The procedure to correct TOS requires the removal of the upper rib near the collarbone, where nerves have become twisted. Cody Bradford had the operation when he was at Baylor just before the Rangers selected him in the 2019 MLB draft.

Scherzer hasn’t been told he needs surgery. His arm only bugs him when he throws a ball.

If the shots don’t fix the problem and he wants to keep pitching, he needs to find a way to manage the discomfort or stop throwing all together.

The guess is he’ll figure out a way to keep throwing.

Wash returns

The Angels are making their first appearance of the season at Globe Life Field as the Rangers and Angels play for the first time. The Angels’ manager is former Rangers manager Ron Washington.

He is the guest on the new episode of the Rangers Today baseball podcast, which will be out later today. His appearance comes with the Angels in last place in the American League West as they attempt to grab hold of the way Washington wants them to play.

If that sounds familiar, it should.

The 2007 Rangers had some similar growing pains in his first season as manager. They improved each of the following four seasons, and the 2012 Rangers were the best team in baseball until the final two weeks of the season.

Angels fans are getting used to Washington, too. He was in the news this week because he called for a suicide squeeze Tuesday night, and Luis Guillorme didn’t get it down. Asked about the play after a one-run loss, Washington explained his call and said he did nothing wrong. The player didn’t execute.

Some fans and media were shocked that Washington would call out a player. Some were fine with it.

Asked about it Wednesday, Washington didn’t apologize. Asked about it before we shot the podcast, he said he had taken care of it.

Well, if he says so … .

The interview was fun, and the episode is a good one. Look for it here later today.

Burke news

The last time Brock Burke was seen on the field was April 12 at Houston, and he didn’t pitch well.

Frustrated by the outing at Houston, which followed other shaky appearances to the season, Burke punched a door and broke his right hand.

At least he didn’t throw his pitching hand.

The embarrassing injury required surgery, but Burke is on his way back. The left-hander pitched a scoreless inning Thursday night in the Arizona Complex League, striking out two, in his first outing on a rehab assignment.

He has 30 days to complete his rehab stint, which could include appearances against stiffer competition with Double A Frisco or Triple A Round Rock. The Rangers might have a decision to make when he’s healthy.

Burke was not effective before breaking his hand, with a 15.00 ERA. After a strong 2022 campaign, Burke wasn’t as effective last season. He has a minor-league option remaining.

The Rangers, as desperate as they are for relief help and depth, will need to see improvement. If he has fixed what was ailing him, he’ll rejoin the bullpen and possibly see time in high-leverage situations.

But if Burke continues to struggle, Round Rock could be in play.

 

 

Card of the Week

T.R. Sullivan filed the latest installment of his Boys of Summer project overnight Wednesday, and I finally got it edited and published around 4 p.m. Thursday.

The subject is Will Clark, and, of course, it’s good. My first memories of Clark, though, date to his Giants days. That’s the uniform he’s wearing in his 1987 Fleer rookie card, my favorite of his numerous rookie offerings.

It’s the Card of the Week.

The Wilsons, as has been written here before, traveled from pre-Rockies Colorado to Arizona each year for spring training beginning in 1985, when I was in fourth grade.

We would spread out across the Cactus League, though initially not to Tucson (Indians) and never to Yuma (Padres) or Casa Grande (Angels).

Among the ballparks we frequented was Scottsdale Stadium, home of the Giants, and it was there where I pursued Clark to get his autograph.

I did, on a couple occasions, but he could be tough. He made sure that kids addressed him as Mr. Clark and told him thank you upon receiving his autograph.

Scottsdale Stadium was given a much-needed face-lift after our spring trips ended. The hospital across the street remains, as does the Denny’s a block away where I had my first Grand Slam breakfast.

I still have those Clark autographs, too.

Doggy video!

For those who celebrate. Enjoy.

Jeff Wilson, jeff@rangerstoday.com

Jeff Wilson

Sports reporter for two decades. Sports fan for life. Covers the Texas Rangers. Graduate of TCU. Colorado native. Author of Purple Passion: TCU Football Legends (https://t.co/2fmXLyympx). Follow me on Twitter at @JeffWilsonTXR

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