On Tuesday afternoon, Rangers postseason standout Adolis García was the first player at Chase Field, receiving therapy and eager to start playing again. The right fielder departed Game 3 of the World Series on Monday with a moderate left oblique strain.
However, García's inability to swing effectively led to his replacement on the World Series roster just before Game 4, and he was joined by Max Scherzer, the Game 3 starter, who exited Monday's game due to back spasms.
"It was pretty easy," Young said. "Adolis did everything he could today. He came in, was the first guy in today. He got as much treatment as possible. He went down to the cage and gave it a go, and it was very clear he was in pain."
"[Max's] back is in the same spot it was last night. He received a full day of treatment and there was no progress. Our medical team has extreme concern in terms of his ability to recover over the next few days that would allow him to pitch in this Series."
Travis Jankowski got his first start of the postseason in García's place in right field, batting ninth, with DH Mitch Garver batting third ahead of Evan Carter at cleanup.
Scherzer, who left Game 3 after three scoreless frames with back spasms, "was pretty locked up when he walked in" on Tuesday, and the 39-year-old was also receiving treatment, "trying to get loose some," per Rangers manager Bruce Bochy, "but he's not feeling well."
Bochy said before the players were replaced that the club had to fully consider if either Scherzer or García could contribute at all in the final games of the World Series.
In the eighth inning of Texas' 3-1 triumph against Arizona in Game 3, García departed the game due to left side discomfort after an uncomfortable swing on a flyout to center field. After impact, he groaned and held his lower back and was replaced in right field by Jankowski in the bottom of the frame.
Bochy said he opted to start Jankowski in Game 4 over Robbie Grossman, who played 72 games in the outfield this season. This decision was based on the defensive value that Jankowski provides, even though Grossman has power potential at the plate.
Bochy said, "I'd say more than anything Jankowski, he's such a good defender. They're going to be using everybody out there [in the bullpen]. So it's hard to pick the matchup you want on the starter in a game like tonight."
“That probably weighed as heavily as anything. Right now we're going with our best defense out there. And we'll adjust as the game goes with the matchups, who is on base, things like that, pinch-hitting,” Bochy explained.
Duran played 34 games in left field this season but didn’t crack the roster for any of the postseason rounds. The outfield configuration could change to include Duran or Grossman in the following games depending on the situation and matchups.
Scherzer was pulled after throwing two warmup pitches at the start of the bottom of the fourth inning Monday. He said postgame that he first felt something on a slider to Arizona third baseman Evan Longoria in the third. With Scherzer off the roster, Jon Gray is lined up to start a potential Game 7. That could affect his availability out of the bullpen, where he's been a postseason revelation, in Game 5 and Game 6, should those games be necessary.
Burke was on the Rangers' roster for both the American League Wild Card Series and the AL Division Series, but he didn't make the cut for the AL Championship Series or the World Series. He only made one postseason appearance in Game 2 of the ALDS in Baltimore, facing three batters and allowing two runs. The lefty posted a 4.37 ERA over 53 relief appearances in his third MLB season in 2023.
"I can't say enough about the mental toughness of this club and the resilience they have shown," Bochy said. "They don't get down. There's no point in it. They understand you have to focus forward. It's not great news. You hate to lose your cleanup hitter, but it happened. The only thing we can do is handle it in the right way, and this club has done it all year. That's why I'm so proud of them."