Max Scherzer's return to a major league mound for the New York Mets will have to wait a little longer, as Scherzer told reporters on Saturday that he needed a second rehab start before having the Mets activate him from the injured list, stressing "I cannot have a setback."
That second rehab start will be in Hartford, Conn. on Tuesday for Double-A Binghamton (for those of you in the area this is the place to be on Tuesday night).
The three-time Cy Young winner hasn't pitched since May 18 because of a strained oblique. Some Mets fans were disappointed in the news that Scherzer did not pitch yesterday despite ramblings that his return would be in the series finale against Miami.
In spite of some fan backlash, giving Max Scherzer a second rehab start was the right call, the smart call, and the only call the Mets could have made.
It is no secret the Mets rotation has been banged up of late as Tylor Megill returned to the injured list with a strained shoulder and Carlos Carrasco left his last start early due to back tightness.
But Mets fans need a reality check, and what this team really is. The Mets are currently the team to beat in the National League, they are the only team with a sizeable division lead in the league, and it is in the best interests of the Mets to get everyone healthy for the games that really matter, meaning those games in October.
Let us also factor in that Scherzer is about to turn 38 one month from today and is not getting any younger, so protecting an arm that is getting paid lots of money is a priority for this team. It typically takes longer for older players to recover from injuries, and Scherzer is one of the oldest pitchers in the league.
And one final thing: The thing that many analysts felt distinguished the Mets above all the other contenders was the dominant pitching duo that encompasses Scherzer and Jacob deGrom. When they are healthy, they are the best one-two punch in baseball, bar none, and makes the Mets a difficult team to beat in October, given the success of the Mets' offense.
So of course, the priorities are properly in order for the Mets when it comes to protecting their biggest stars, especially this season, a statement rarely uttered under the Wilpon regime.