The last time we saw Max Scherzer on an MLB mound, he was pulled from game three of the World Series with a back issue that would keep him out until now.

After a few setbacks in the rehab process, Scherzer will start his 17th MLB season as he makes his 2024 debut when the Rangers take on the Royals at 3:05 from Globe Life Field.

It would have been easy for Scherzer to retire with his slam-dunk Hall of Fame resume, but Mad Max still wants to take the mound for a few more years.

“My heart’s in it, yeah,” Scherzer said.

“I came into this year wanting to pitch next year. I didn’t come into this year thinking it was my last year.”

After being traded to the Rangers in late July of last year, Max Scherzer was 4-2 with a 3.20 ERA in eight starts.

Scherzer went on to make three starts in the postseason, including the Rangers 11-4 Game 7 win over the Houston Astros in the ALCS.

So, what exactly should we expect from Max Scherzer’s return? Who will go down to AAA, and who will go to the bullpen?

Let’s break it down.

Max Scherzer will likely be activated from the 60-day IL on the same day he starts, so in theory, that would be Saturday. The Rangers do currently have an open spot in their 40-man roster, so he will likely take that.

Who will be sent back down to Round Rock could depend on which bullpen arms are fresh that day. The likely candidate would be Yerry Rodriguez, who seems to be going from AAA to the Majors just about every week.

The million-dollar question with Scherzer’s return is who will have to slide from the starting rotation to the bullpen. This is a question that will most certainly come up again when the likes of Jacob deGrom, Cody Bradford, and Tyler Mahle also get set to return from injury.

Dane Dunning could very well be the one who is making the walk out to the pen before every game. In his last five starts, Dunning has an ERA of 5.82, and with his strong track record coming out of the pen last season, it could be a solid match.

If Dunning isn’t the odd one out, it would likely be Andrew Heaney, who has also had some success coming out of the bullpen with the Rangers.

As for Scherzer, don’t expect him to go out and throw 100 pitches on Saturday afternoon, but he did throw 79 in his final rehab start.
So, with an efficient first few innings, we could see Mad Max work pretty deep into the game.

PHOTO: ClutchPoints

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