The Los Angeles Dodgers are confident that shortstop Corey Seager, out for most of last season after elbow and hip surgeries, will be back in the lineup for Opening Day.
“He looks really good,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Tuesday of the National League’s Rookie of the Year in 2016, when he batted .308 with 26 home runs and 72 RBIs.
Roberts, speaking to reporters in his first spring training availability, hopes Seager, who is throwing at 90 feet, can get 50 to 60 at-bats before being cleared for Cactus League action.
In late January, Seager seemed confident about his chances of opening this season, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.
“Right now, everything is on line to be able to make a decision on whether I’ll be ready to go or not [for Opening Day],” Seager said at the Dodgers’ annual FanFest. “But, for the most part, I feel great. Everything is on time now. And I haven’t had any setbacks yet so ... I’m positive about it.”
Seager played in only 26 games in 2018 before undergoing season-ending Tommy John surgery on May 4 to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament. On Aug. 7, he opted for another arthroscopic surgery on his left hip.
“The last thing I wanted to do was recover from 12 months and two months later have another surgery,” Seager said. “So it was one of those things that may or may not have been a little premature, but go ahead and get it out of the way before it becomes a serious problem.”
In his first year of arbitration, Seager settled this offseason with the National League champion Dodgers on a $4 million salary for 2019.
With the return of Seager and the addition of right-handed hitting center fielder A.J. Pollock, Roberts doesn’t expect as much platooning as the Dodgers did last year, even after the departure of Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp in a trade to the Cincinnati Reds and losing Manny Machado and Yasmani Grandal through free agency.
“There is a certain narrative on us platooning last year, and I think that was kind of for survival,” Roberts said.
—Field Level Media