Mets’ Max Scherzer may return to rotation for start Sunday

HOUSTON — The Mets have a weekend rotation to formulate, and Max Scherzer figures into at least one permutation. 

A day after the right-hander threw 65 pitches in a rehab start for Double-A Binghamton, manager Buck Showalter said Scherzer is under consideration to rejoin the Mets’ rotation on Sunday in Miami. 

Taijuan Walker and Chris Bassitt are lined up to pitch the first two games of the series against the Marlins, which will begin Friday. For now, Sunday is wide open, with David Peterson and Trevor Williams as other options. But Peterson is preparing to leave the Mets for the birth of a son. 

“We have got a lot of different scenarios thrown out there,” Showalter said before the Mets lost 5-3 to the Astros on Wednesday. “[Scherzer] is one of the scenarios.” 

Scherzer, who was placed on the injured list with a strained left oblique on May 19, pitched 3 ¹/₃ innings for Binghamton on Tuesday and allowed two earned runs with six strikeouts. 

Mets pitcher Max Scherzer exits in the fourth inning of a rehab start against the Reading Fightin Phils.
Gordon Donovan

“When I saw him doing an interview in the Rumble Ponies [uniform], he’s going to see that when he gets back,” Showalter said. “He might even see a tee-shirt.” 

Seth Lugo was delayed in Atlanta on his return home to Louisiana on Monday and missed the birth of his son, according to Showalter. The reliever will likely return from the paternity list on Friday, necessitating a roster move. 

Jeff McNeil was absent from the starting lineup for a second straight game to rest his right hamstring. The expectation is McNeil will return to the lineup on Friday or Saturday. McNeil tweaked the hamstring running home from third on a wild pitch Monday. 

Showalter introduced players to Reggie Jackson, who serves as a special assistant with the Astros. 

“Reggie was kidding the guys about the little bats they use nowadays compared to what he used — 36-, 37-ounce bats,” Showalter said. “Those big hands, I guess he could handle it. I think he got a kick out of meeting everybody, seeing everybody, and I know they did. Everybody knows who Reggie Jackson is.”