The Texas Rangers are removing slugger Adolis García (moderate oblique strain) and Max Scherzer (back tightness) from their World Series roster ahead of Game 4 against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the team announced. . They're done for the World Series and the year, as they cannot can be returned to the active roster.
Utility man Ezequiel Durán has been added to the roster as García's replacement, while lefty Brock Burke will replace Scherzer.
Rangers general manager Chris Young said that he "hurt personally for both players," but that it was clear neither would be ready to partake in game action for the remainder of the series. He added that Texas outfield prospect Wyatt Langford, the Rangers' first-round pick in July, was not considered a candidate to join the playoff roster.
Young also said that "No one is going to feel sorry for us" with respect to the poor timing of the injuries.
Needless to say, losing García is a devastating blow to a Rangers team that is two wins away from the franchise's first World Series championship. García, the ALCS MVP, has been a one-man wrecking crew this postseason, hitting .323/.382/.726 with eight home runs and 22 RBI in 15 games. Those 22 RBI are the record for a single postseason.
Scherzer, meanwhile, had started three times since returning from a teres major strain in his throwing shoulder. He had thrown three shutout innings against the Diamondbacks in Game 3 prior to his removal. In three playoff starts, he surrendered 11 hits and seven runs across 9 2/3 innings. He did strike out seven batters, but he also walked five.
Durán, 24, hit .276/.324/.443 (106 OPS+) with 14 home runs and 46 RBI during the regular season. He saw action at six different positions, albeit primarily at shortstop and left field. Burke, 27, appeared 53 times and compiled a 4.37 ERA (102 ERA+) and a 5.78 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Burke made a single appearance in the ALDS round against the Baltimore Orioles; Durán has not appeared in a playoff game, or seen any real game action since Sept. 29.
Travis Jankowski, who was productive against righties this year and is a better defender than Robbie Grossman, appears to be Bruce Bochy's preferred replacement for García given Arizona's almost all-righty rotation. It's to be seen who the Rangers will start in Game 6 in place of Scherzer -- or if there will be a Game 6 to begin with.
The Rangers won Game 3 and have a 2-1 series lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Historically, teams with a 2-1 lead in a best-of-seven have gone on to win the series 70% of the time. Game 4 is Tuesday night at Chase Field. .