Justin Verlander has been ruled out as a Game 5 bullpen option after throwing 120 pitches Monday, but Jason Beck of MLB.com reports that Max Scherzer is available in relief of Doug Fister tonight.
Scherzer shut out the Yankees for six innings in Game 2, throwing 104 pitches Sunday, so he’d likely be an option for an inning or two.
He hasn’t gotten any relief work since 2008, when he was a 23-year-old rookie with the Diamondbacks, but Scherzer certainly has the raw stuff to potentially dominate in short outings and his success mowing down the Yankees’ lineup in Game 2 may convince manager Jim Leyland to give him another shot if Fister gets into some early trouble.
Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that the rebuilding Rangers are considering moving on from manager Jeff Banister. Wilson notes that the Rangers aren’t sure if Banister is the right person to lead the club when they become competitive again. Additionally, Wilson notes that there have been some communication issues with Banister, such as not telling players when they’re getting a day off and suddenly inserting players into the lineup without notification. According to Wilson, some players feel their concerns have fallen on “deaf ears” when presented to Banister.
In four years under Banister, the Rangers have gone 325-313 (.509) overall. They went to the playoffs in 2015 and ’16 but lost in the Division Series to the Blue Jays both times, 3-2 and 3-0, respectively.
GM Jon Daniels said he is pleased with the way some players, namely Ronald Guzman, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, José Leclerc, and Jurickson Profar, have developed under Banister. But it remains to be seen if that will be enough to keep Banister in town.
Banister is under contract for the 2019 season, as the Rangers exercised his option last year.