Coming off a heartbreaking defeat in the 2017 World Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers entered into the 2018 season with added motivation to end the franchise’s championship drought. Their hopes took an early blow, however, when Corey Seager required Tommy John surgery.
It cut his season to just 26 games and robbed the Dodgers of one of their top position players. The void was ultimately filled by trading for Manny Machado, who had an uneven tenure with the team before moving on to sign with the San Diego Padres after the Dodgers suffered another defeat in the Fall Classic.
While recovering from Tommy John, Seager underwent arthroscopic hip surgery. The operation aimed to improve his agility and alleviate discomfort, and was not going to impact his timeline to return in 2019.
A cautious and deliberate buildup during Spring Training put Seager in position to be in the lineup on Opening Day. While his hip and elbow did not cause any trouble throughout the season, Seager battled hamstring issues on multiple occasions.
And having essentially missed all of last season, Seager additionally suffered from bouts of inconsistency as he worked to shake off rust. Despite some of his peaks and valleys, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman felt Seager had a successful 2019 season and is optimistic for next year, per Pedro Moura of The Athletic:
Friedman framed Seager’s 2019 season as a “great success.”
“When you miss that much of a previous season, to come back and do what he did speaks volumes to his ability,” he said. “I’m very bullish on what he will do in 2020, having been back now for a year. I think there’s gonna be another significant step forward.”
Seager finished the season batting .272/.335/.483 with a National League-best 44 doubles to go along with 19 home runs and 87 RBI. Seager’s .817 on-base plus slugging percentage was his lowest in any of the three full seasons he’s spent with the Dodgers.
The postseason was particularly unkind to the two-time Silver Slugger, as he went 3-for-20 with eight strikeouts in five games against the Washington Nationals.
Although Friedman spoke optimistically about Seager, his future with the team has been the subject of recent speculation. In light of the Dodgers reportedly having interest in Francisco Lindor, Seager has subsequently become mentioned in trade rumors.
It’s believed he could be included in a deal with the Cleveland Indians or sent to a separate team if the Dodgers were to acquire Lindor.
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