Adolis García Next to ‘Step Away’ from Rangers?

 Adolis García hasn’t appeared in a “real” baseball game since Game 3 of the World Series on Oct. 30.

The American League Championship Series MVP landed on the injured list with an oblique strain after the Rangers’ matchup with the Diamondbacks, which shut him down for the remainder of the Rangers’ title run.

But despite not playing in a real game in 128 days, García picked up right where he left off.

In his Cactus League debut in the Rangers’ 6-6 tie with the Rockies at Salt River Fields, García went 1-for-3 with a Statcast-projected 398-foot home run onto the berm behind left field. He also had a double-play ball with a 95.6 mph exit velocity and a .400 expected batting average, per Statcast.

“I’m feeling good,” García said. “It was a good day, and it’s good to be back. [Hitting the home run] is a good feeling. I’ve been working on my adjustments every day, even though I wasn’t playing. I’m just feeling good.”

“He’s been swinging well — I said that earlier today,” added manager Bruce Bochy. “He had a good at-bat. Even the double-play ball, he smoked it. So it’s good to see where he’s at right now, just getting going in these games. He looks like he’s on time with the fastball and the breaking ball.”

García hadn’t appeared in any of the Rangers’ first 12 Cactus League contests, but Bochy has emphasized that he’s not injured. The staff was just coming along slowly with him. The outfielder has been taking live batting practice on the backfields, as well as playing in intrasquad and B games throughout the early weeks of camp.

In Tuesday’s most recent B game against the Royals, he went 2-for-7 with a pair of hard-hit singles, the first of which was off of big leaguer Jordan Lyles. García plans to get more at-bats as a designated hitter in the B game on Thursday in Peoria against the Padres.

Bochy said the Rangers expect García to play the outfield soon.

“I’m really surprised with how well he’s hitting in the backfields, considering he hasn’t played in any games,” Bochy said. “We’ve been watching the live hitting and he’s been very focused on getting ready for the season even though we’re just slow playing him. He’s shown us some good ABs.”

The Rangers decided to slowly play García this spring to ensure his health throughout 162 games. He limped toward the finish line last season, missing 10 days in September with a right patellar tendon strain in his knee. He ended the regular season and started the postseason healthy before missing Games 4 and 5 of the World Series with an oblique strain.

The 31-year-old is coming off the most successful season of his career, in which he set career highs in home runs (39), walks (65), OPS (.836) and barrel rate (16.1%). García also earned his second All-Star selection and his first Gold Glove Award in 2023.

He was Texas’ postseason hero, homering in four consecutive games during the ALCS before taking home the MVP honors. He hit a walk-off home run in Game 1 of the World Series and seemed primed to potentially win the World Series MVP before a strained oblique in Game 3 ended his postseason prematurely.

But despite all he accomplished last summer, García wants to be even better this year and hopes to help the Rangers repeat.

“I want to try — I will try — to be the same,” García said. “I’ll try to be aggressive when I have to be, but also make good swing decisions. Every year, I just want to get better at everything, so I will try to get my strike zone right and keep swinging hard in the heart of the zone.”


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