New York Mets pitcher Max Scherzer looks on from the...

New York Mets pitcher Max Scherzer looks on from the dugout during an MLB baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field on Wednesday, June 15, 2022. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

MIAMI — Feeling he recently plateaued in his comeback from a strained left oblique, Max Scherzer and the Mets have decided he will make another minor-league rehabilitation appearance instead of returning straight to the majors this week.

That next outing probably will be Tuesday, Scherzer said, with a to-be-announced affiliate.

He framed this development as “part of the process” and maintained that he is “ahead of schedule” and “doing great.” The Mets initially mentioned a timetable of six to eight weeks; Wednesday will mark six weeks since Scherzer got hurt.

Although he initially had eyes on returning Sunday, he experienced continued soreness in the days after his rehab outing Tuesday, so they decided to play it safe.

“I cannot have a setback,” Scherzer said. “I gotta come back healthy and I cannot have a setback. I cannot have a setback. I understand that. I will pitch when I’m ready to pitch.

“I’m trying to pitch and do rehab at the same time. Coming out of that start, doing a core routine afterwards, throwing a bullpen, doing a core routine — it was a lot, and I got a little sore .  .  . It’s one of these things you gotta be delicate with and respect the injury.”

Manager Buck Showalter said the Mets’ success this season is not a factor in taking it slow with Scherzer and other injured players.

 

“You gotta completely remove that from your calculus,” Scherzer agreed.

Showalter said: “That’s been the plan all along, just to see how he felt from day to day, not get ahead of ourselves and commit to something where it might look like a failure. It’s not that. He’s right where he’s supposed to be if you look at the history of these injuries.”

And the plan after this second rehab start?

“We hope he’ll be joining us not too long thereafter,” Showalter said. “But if he needs another one after, we’ll give it.”

The Mets haven’t said for which team he will pitch. The club he was with last week, Double-A Binghamton, will be in Hartford. The only geographically closer option would be Hudson Valley, which is hosting High-A Brooklyn.

Daily deGrom

Jacob deGrom (right shoulder blade stress reaction) threw 20 pitches/one inning of live batting practice to Mets minor-leaguers in Port St. Lucie on Saturday. He’ll do that at least one more time in a few days before advancing to a rehab assignment.

Missing McNeil

Jeff McNeil (right hamstring tightness) was out of the lineup for a fourth consecutive game. Showalter said he was available “in some capacity.”

He did baserunning drills during batting practice, but it did not seem to be at full speed.

Relieving relievers

One injured Mets reliever is approaching a return, and another is further away but making good progress.

Colin Holderman (right shoulder impingement) will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Syracuse on Sunday. He has a 3.18 ERA (inflated by one ugly outing right before he was sidelined) and 14 strikeouts in 11 1⁄3 innings.

“That’s good news for us,” Showalter said. “He was pitching well before he had this setback.”

Trevor May (stress reaction in his right humerus) “got good news back” on his latest CT scan, is progressing to mound work and will face hitters soon, according to Showalter.

Peacock time

Heads up: The Mets-Marlins series finale at noon Sunday will not be on SNY or any other television station. It instead will be on Peacock, NBC’s streaming service.

The extra-early start is suboptimal for baseball creatures of habit. NBC is paying MLB a reported $30 million for the exclusive Sunday morning/early afternoon window (with no other games allowed to start until 1:30 p.m.).

“I know [about the money factor],” Showalter said. “So we all shut up and do it.”