Many Los Angeles Dodgers players have been dealing with minor injuries this spring, with the most recent being shortstop Corey Seager, who is suffering from a left knee sprain.
Seager is expected to miss one to two weeks, putting his availability come Opening Day in jeopardy. While the Dodgers have a deep and versatile group of position players, it doesn’t necessarily apply at shortstop.
Los Angeles sured up their infield depth by re-signing Howie Kendrick and Chase Utley, as well as trading for second base prospect Micah Johnson.
However, none of the aforementioned players are true shortstops. As it stands, the only player aside from Seager who can play shortstop and is projected to make the Opening Day roster is utility man Kiké Hernandez.
Justin Turner does have experience at the position, but is coming off microfracture knee surgery and is slated to be the Dodgers’ everyday third baseman this season.
Nonetheless, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman is comfortable with the team’s depth at shortstop, according to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times:
“I feel good about our depth relative to the industry,” said Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers’ president of baseball operations. “It’s a tough position to have three or four lines of defense. Almost every team is vulnerable if their starting shortstop gets hurt.”
Other potential backup options are Elian Herrera and Brandon Hicks, who both signed Minor League contracts with invites to Spring Training with the Dodgers during the offseason. Charlie Culberson is another long-shot candidate.
Seager made his Major-League debut last September and played his way to securing the starting job at shortstop. The 21 year old batted .337/.425/.561 with four home runs, eight doubles, 17 RBIs, a .421 wOBA and 175 wRC+ in 27 regular-season games with the Dodgers.