The Los Angeles Dodgers were dealt a major blow a mere weeks into the 2018 season when Corey Seager was lost for the year after he opted to undergo Tommy John surgery in May.
It was the first of two operations for Seager, who later underwent hip surgery in August. The second procedure did not impact the timeline for his return to the field, however.
At his annual end-of-the-year press conference, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman expressed a belief the surgeries will only help the 24-year-old recapture his form in time for Spring Training and down the line.
“Both surgeries in and of themselves should put him in position to be very strong in Spring Training,” Friedman said. “The fact that there’s two, it’s (timeline) a tough thing to factor in. Obviously he’s an extremely important part of our team looking forward; that’s not just 2019 but beyond.
“We will make sure he’s in good shape physically and ready for the day in and day out grind before we put him back in. We think that will be Opening Day. At this point, we don’t know. Each kind of checkpoint along the way in the offseason will help inform that. We are optimistic he will be ready Opening Day.”
Nearing the end of what has been a lengthy recovery process, Seager believes he is slowly but surely progressing with each passing day. He is especially relieved that the respective Tommy John and hip surgeries will make him pain-free going forward.
Though, Seager has yet to begin throwing or running in the rehab process. The 2016 National League Rookie of the Year is expected to reprise his usual starting role at shortstop with temporary replacement Manny Machado now a free agent.
Seager is confident that his body will hold up and allow him to play shortstop with ease as once before. The Dodgers maintain this hope as well.