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Tuesday newsletter time: Max Scherzer going coastal for second rehab start

(Rangers Today/Jeff Wilson)

 

Max Scherzer spent time at Double A in 2007 at Mobile in the Southern League the season before his MLB debut with Arizona.

He made two Double A rehab appearances in 2022 with Binghamton in the Mets organization.

Scherzer makes his triumphant return to Double A ball tonight when he pitches for Frisco at Corpus Christi in his second start on a rehab assignment.

Mobile is a hotbed for baseball talent, from Hank Aaron to Blaine Crim and Bubba Thompson. The city’s homicide department is also a regular on The First 48, which is good and bad.

Binghamton’s team name is the Rumble Ponies, which is pretty hard to beat. Frisco is one of the best-run affiliates in baseball and is very convenient for the big-league club.

Corpus isn’t exactly, convenient, but Triple A Round Rock is in Albuquerque and no one likes pitching there. Scherzer will head to Whataburger Field, which sounds delicious, in hopes of logging around 70 pitches.

His first rehab start was Wednesday with Round Rock at Dell Diamond, where his plan for bad umpires made more news than his pitching. A third rehab start would likely come Sunday and could also come at Corpus.

If Scherzer were to pitch Sunday, he would be ready to come off the injured list May 10. The problem is the Rangers play at Colorado and might not want him to return there. They could push his third rehab start to next Tuesday, which would put him in line to start May 13 at home against the Guardians.

Whenever Scherzer is reinstated, a starter will have to go to the bullpen.

Gray again

Right-hander Jon Gray will take the mound tonight in the opener of a three-game series against the Nationals.

Some believe that right-hander Jon Gray should be sent to the bullpen upon Scherzer’s return, not because he hasn’t been steadily getting better as a starter this season but because he has the makings of a dominant reliever.

Gray was masterful as a reliever in the World Series, including in Game 3 after Scherzer left with back stiffness that later became a herniated disc that needed surgery Dec. 15. Gray also dominated the Braves on April 21 over 1 2/3 innings of emergency bullpen work.

But Gray was signed to be a starter, wants to be a starter and draws the wage of a starter. The bullpen has been very good of late and doesn’t need a multi-inning reliever, like Gray would be.

As Scherzer, Cody Bradford (rib), Tyler Mahle (Tommy John) and Jacob deGrom (Tommy John) return during the course of the season, multiple starters will find themselves displaced.

Until that happens, Gray is where he needs to be.

 

Dress code

The first thing I noticed this spring about the new Nike uniforms is that I needed binoculars to see thae names on players’ jersey, and this was while standing darn near next to them during bullpen sessions.

My eyes are getting old, but not that old.

More notable among the uniforms’ springtime failures was being able to see players’ junk if they didn’t have on the right kind of underpants.

Pants were tearing on slides, and uniforms were becoming discolored as players started sweating through them.

Alas, the uniform woes have finally hurt someone’s feelings at Nike hard enough for the company to tell the MLB Players Association that it will address the uniform issues.

Fixes could be coming this season, ESPN’s Jeff Passan first reported, and will be made no later than Opening Day 2025.

My favorite paragraph of the story is as follows:

MLB declined to comment. Nike did not offer immediate comment when reached by ESPN. Fanatics did not respond to a request for comment. The MLBPA declined to comment.

What’s the big secret?

The fiasco is another lapse in MLB’s judgment, clouded by dollar signs and made without acknowledging player input. ESPN magically obtained a memo from the MLBPA to the players and mentioned how Nike didn’t listen. Nike and MLB agreed to a 10-year, $1 billion deal for Nike to be the official supplier of player uniforms.

MLB might have finally leaned on Nike at some point to reach this outcome, but it could have happened in February when players’ privates started showing up in photos.

Doggy video!

Leave no one behind. 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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