The New York Mets are inching closer to having one of their two aces back on the mound.
Max Scherzer, who hasn’t appeared in a game since May 18, is scheduled for a rehab start on Tuesday with the Mets Double-A affiliate in Binghamton.
According to MLB.com, Scherzer is expected to throw between 60 and 70 pitches as he continues to recover from a left oblique strain.
“I can’t wait,” Scherzer said. “I came here to win and I want to be a part of it. We are good. We have been checking a lot of boxes, but we haven’t won anything yet.
“So many things could happen. You’re always just one injury away from being a completely different team. That’s why you have to keep your nose down, keep grinding. I understand we have played well. We have done a lot of good things thus far, but it doesn’t mean anything.”
The Mets have fared well without Scherzer, going 20-10 since the three-time CY Young winner exited a game against the St. Louis Cardinals with an injury. New York is currently 45-24, sitting in first place in the NL East, 5.5 games up on the Atlanta Braves.
“We trust him, but there’s also some things we’ll need to see,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said Monday, according to the New York Post. “But you know Max, he will be competitive. We had the [Class-A] Brooklyn hitters here the other day and he was trying to punch them out. It’s not like one of those things where he was just going through the motions.”
The Mets are still waiting on their other ace – two-time CY Young winner Jacob deGrom – to make his regular season debut after suffering a shoulder injury during Spring Training.