Whereas it was Corey Seager who was the talk of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2016, he took a backseat this season to Cody Bellinger, after the rising star joined the club last April for his MLB debut. Like Seager, Bellinger went on to become a unanimous selection National League Rookie of the Year selection.
Being overshadowed was hardly an issue for Seager, as his demeanor and personality lend to avoiding the spotlight. So while playing second fiddle to Bellinger for much of the year, Seager produced at a rate that was similar to production seen in his rookie campaign.
That was until a balky right elbow slowed the two-time All-Star. It limited Seager to a stretch of pinch-hitting duty and was an issue he dealt with for the final six weeks of the regular season and into the playoffs.
Despite that, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said at an end-of-season press conference that he believed Seager could avoid surgery by going through a rest and rehab process.
Speaking at the annual Winter Meetings, general manager Farhan Zaidi confirmed Seager will avoid elbow surgery, according to Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times:
Corey Seager will not require elbow surgery, Farhan Zaidi said. He’ll continue to rest this offseason.
— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) December 12, 2017
The thought of surgery on his throwing elbow was first floated by Seager, who surmised some minor procedure, likely a cleanup of sorts, would be necessary. The injury was said to primarily affect him while playing the field.
But with that, Seager only hit .205/.284/.359 with three doubles, three home runs and 12 RBI in 21 games (20 starts) after being inserted back into the lineup. He finished the season batting .295/.375/.479 with 33 doubles, 22 home runs, 77 RBI, a .364 wOBA and 127 wRC+ in 145 games.
In addition to being bothered by elbow trouble, Seager suffered a back injury in the National League Division Series that sidelined him for the Championship Series. He returned for the Fall Classic, but didn’t appear to be 100 percent or his usual self.