Max Scherzer to rejoin New York Mets on Tuesday for start vs. Cincinnati Reds

NEW YORK -- Max Scherzer is scheduled to return to the New York Mets' rotation Tuesday in Cincinnati after missing over a month with a strained left oblique muscle.

Scherzer, a three-time Cy Young Award winner, has been sidelined since straining his oblique while pitching against St. Louis on May 18.

"If you look at the timeframe of this injury over the course of a lot of history, you look at other people with this injury and what's the usual timeline, he's met all the criteria,'' Mets manager Buck Showalter said. Friday.

Scherzer made a pair of rehab starts for the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies and threw 80 pitches Wednesday against the Hartford Yard Goats. The right-hander allowed three runs -- two earned -- and four hits in 4 2/3 innings, striking out eight and walking one.

"I have a much better grasp on what this is,'' Scherzer said Friday. "I definitely crossed that six week timeline so you feel a lot more confident. You feel it's starting to get in my rearview mirror.''

Scherzer also threw 65 pitches on June 20 for Binghamton against Reading, allowing two runs and three hits in 3 1/3 innings with six strikeouts and a walk.

After signing a $130 million, three-year contract, baseball's highest average salary, Scherzer is 6-2 with a 2.54 ERA in eight starts during his first season with the Mets.

New York scratched Chris Bassitt from his start against the Texas Rangers on Friday night and placed the putcher the injured list for an undisclosed reason.

Showalter alluded that the right-hander was dealing with COVID-19.

"It's society in general,'' Showalter said. "We got people in all walks of life that have to deal with this. So why should we be any different''?

The Mets announced the move about four hours before the scheduled first pitch and announced David Peterson would start in place of Bassitt. With wife Alex expecting the couple's first child, Peterson allowed three runs and five hits, striking out 10, in New York's 4-3 win.

Bassitt is 6-5 with a 4.01 ERA in 15 starts since being acquired from Oakland on March 12. He last pitched Saturday, when he allowed three runs in seven innings at Miami.

To replace Bassitt on the roster New York selected the contract of right-hander R.J. Alvarez from Triple-A Syracuse. Alvarez is 3-3 with a 2.49 ERA in 20 appearances for Syracuse.

Alvarez has a 7.39 ERA in 31 career appearances for San Diego and Oakland and last appeared in the majors on Sept. 29, 2015 for the Padres.