Rangers Roundup: The Surging Rangers, Max Scherzer Injury, and Pitching Rotation Outlook

By; Nicholas Gilanfar

After a turbulent 20-game stretch of 5-15, it is safe to say that the Texas Rangers have knocked off the rust by achieving a six-game winning streak prior to Friday night.

Coming into this week, they were half of a game behind the Toronto Blue Jays for the final wild-card spot in the American league. This week the Rangers visited Toronto for a pivotal four-game series and swept them, putting them in outstanding condition coming into the remainder of the season. This stellar week does not only strengthen our chances at a wildcard spot, but it also gets us back in the thick of things regarding the AL West Title.

Where Rangers Stand

AL West

Houston Astros: 83-65

Texas Rangers: 82-65 (0.5 GB)

Seattle Mariners: 81-66 (1.5 GB)

Wild Card

Tampa Bay Rays: 92-57

Texas Rangers: 82-65

Seattle Mariners: 81-66


Toronto Blue Jays (0.5 GB)

The Return of the Surging Rangers and All-Star Counterparts

The road ahead for the Texas Rangers will be a dog fight as they will play seven out of their last ten games against their division foe Seattle Mariners who they are battling for playoff positioning within each other. The Rangers have shown what they are made of this past week as they did not wave the white flag and surrendered as they finally found their offensive production which has fueled them through this dynamic winning streak. During the winning streak, the Rangers as a team have hit a .293 batting average as everybody has been producing quality at-bats including diamond-in-the-rough outfielders Robbie Grossman and Leody Taveras and MVP hopeful SS Corey Seager

Robbie Grossman was brought on towards the end of the off-season on a minor league contract but made his way into the roster due to a strong spring training performance and veteran Leadership. Throughout the season, Grossman was on the bench not finding the field often as he sat around a .220 batting average not giving much production towards the offense. That is not the case anymore as Grossman has transitioned back into an everyday player and is 8-17 in his last six games with a .471 batting average as everything is going right for him at the plate right now.

Leody Taveras served as the starting centerfielder for the entirety of the season as he started off a dominant campaign hitting over .300 for the first two months but dramatically disappeared during the losing skid. This is Taveras’s second full season in the majors with an everyday workload as it was the same occurrence last year that his consistency did not stick towards the end of the season. Taveras proved the doubters wrong based on his production over this six-game stretch going 6-16 holding a .375 batting average.

Corey Seager was our mainstay for the entire season as he has been our consistent rock through the course. Seager has missed about a month and a half due to injury this season with two IL stints but remains in high contention for AL MVP as he leads the American League in batting average with .344 and has a chance to win the batting title against Miami Marlins 2B Luis Arraez who holds a batting average of .349. Corey Seager over the past six games has gone 11-27 recording a 0.407 batting average over that span.

Another factor in the team’s bounce-back is the recall of #1 Rangers Prospect OF Carter of Evan Carter as he has a batting average of .294 so far in his newcomer campaign as the 21-year-old has found his footing with the franchise. It will be interesting to see long-term how the Rangers will address his situation as the return of OF Adolis Garcia nears.

The Texas Rangers look like a serious contender when the offensive switch turns on as the Ranger’s batting order is close to full strength with All-Star 3B Josh Jung who has been injured since August 6th with a broken thumb been cleared for all baseball activities and is looking to return to the lineup for the last homestand of the season.

Max Scherzer Injury News

Although the current winning streak has shifted direction in the Texas Rangers clubhouse for the remainder of the season, the franchise still took another blow on the injury front. On Tuesday, it was trade deadline acquisition SP Max Scherzer’s day to pitch as it was noted that he has felt a level of fatigue for a couple of weeks. Scherzer pitched 5.1 innings until he left the game with a suspected injury. On Wednesday, it was announced that Max Scherzer has suffered a major strain and will miss the remainder of the season. Heavy blow for the Rangers’ pitching rotation as we finally reached peak pitching staff by being able to get All-star Nathan Eovaldi back from injury. Scherzer was recently placed on the 15-day IL in a corresponding move to recall reliever Jonathan Hernandez who has appeared in 27 games holding a record of 1-2 and a 6.17 ERA.

Projected Rotation for the Remainder of the Season

  1. Jordan Montgomery (9-11, 3.47)
  2. Nathan Eovaldi (11-4, 2.96)
  3. Jon Gray (8-7, 3.96)
  4. Dane Dunning (10-6, 3.91)
  5. Andrew Heaney (10-6, 4.10)

Like Max Scherzer, Jordan Montgomery was also acquired during the 2023 trade deadline from the St. Louis Cardinals he is 3-2 with a 3.59 ERA serving as a viable option as the team’s ace for the playoff run as he has been stacking quality starts together during his Texas Ranger tenure.

Nathan Eovaldi served as the team’s ace all season until he suffered an injury back in early August forcing him to miss about a month. Usually, after a lengthy stint on the injury list, you must have a rehab assignment in the minor leagues to knock some rust off. That was not the case with Eovaldi as the Rangers decided to forgo the Rehab assignment and throw Eovaldi out there in a high-stake game against the Houston Astros where he threw 1.1 innings and let up four runs. Since that disaster performance, the Rangers have been working to get his workload back while he has made two more starts pitching 5.2 innings letting up 2 runs. Yes, Eovaldi has had a thunderous season, but it seems like a lot to ask for at this point for him to be your starting pitcher in game 1 of the playoffs.

The Texas Rangers’ Roberto Clemente nominee Jon Gray has not been able to string quality starts as of late. For Gray’s last 4 starts, he has let up 3+ runs in each start. Gray’s recent play does not come to much concern for this rotation as the Rangers brass knows what Gray is made of as he is known for staying resilient and contributing efficient pitching to the middle of this rotation.

At the beginning of the year, Dunning started in the bullpen until SP Jacob deGrom was ruled out for the remainder of the season. Last year Dunning put up underwhelming numbers going 4-8 with a 4.46 with his future with the Texas Rangers being in doubt due to pitching acquisitions made in the offseason. When Dunning made his way back to the starting rotation, he proved the doubters wrong by going 6-1 from May to July with a 2.61 ERA. Despite Dunning’s bounce-back season, it has not been the case lately as he has raised his ERA to 3.91 and has gone 2-5 in that span. Dunning finds himself in a critical position moving forward as he is still in this rotation and needs to make quality starts to propel the team’s chances.

With Nathan Eovaldi returning from injury and Max Scherzer still being healthy, Andrew Heaney was the odd one out and was briefly sent to the bullpen. Heaney has been in the rotation all season with a record of 10-6 and a 4.10 ERA. Heaney has been efficient as of late after starting 5-6 at the beginning of the season and now winning 5 in a row. Heaney has some good stuff, but the question is if he can stay consistent as he now finds himself back in the starting rotation.

Featured Image via Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

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