Future Hall of Famer Max Scherzer and veteran right-hander Jon Gray have been added to the Texas Rangers' roster for the American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros. Game 1 is Sunday evening at Minute Maid Park, and rosters had to be submitted to the league by 11 a.m. ET.
Scherzer, a trade deadline addition from the Mets, has been sidelined since Sept. 12 because of a strained teres muscle in his right shoulder. Scherzer had ramped up his throwing in recent weeks in an effort to return at some point during the Rangers' postseason run. On Friday, he made his most declarative statement yet about how he feels.
"I've pressed all the buttons I can. I'm ready to go….I feel normal," he told Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. "That's all I can say. All I can do is describe what I feel like and if I have an issue, I have to let them know. But my arm feels fresher."
Scherzer's injury was supposed to sideline him for at least two months. At the time it was announced, Rangers general manager Chris Young deemed it "unlikely" that Scherzer would factor into Texas' postseason plans. Now, though, he's part of Bruce Bochy's pitching mix in their first trip to the ALCS since 2011.
In eight regular-season starts with the Rangers, the 39-year-old amassed a 3.20 ERA (140 ERA+) and a 3.53 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He had previously posted a 4.01 ERA (105 ERA+) and a 4.03 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 19 starts this season with the Mets.
As for Gray, he's been sidelined since late September with a wrist injury. This season, the 31-year-old has pitched to a 4.12 ERA (108 ERA+) and a 2.63 K/BB ratio across 29 starts and 157 1/3 innings. While Scherzer is of course the big story here, Gray also helps the Rangers' depth in this series regardless of his role.