As has been the case this season when facing a left-handed pitcher, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly stacked his lineup with right-handed batters Tuesday night against the San Francisco Giants and ace Madison Bumgarner.
However, there was one notable exception as Mattingly started Corey Seager at shortstop. Mattingly didn’t go so far as to proclaim Seager the primary starter moving forward, but implied as much.
Since making his Major-League debut on Sept. 3 against the San Diego Padres, it’s been difficult for Mattingly to keep the rookie shortstop out of the lineup. With Jimmy Rollins now healthy after missing time with sprained right index finger, there’s a bit of a logjam at the shortstop position.
While the understudy’s presence has cut into the 16-year veteran’s playing time, Seager said Rollins hasn’t exhibited any animosity and has provided guidance, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times:
Seager said there is no awkwardness between him and Rollins, whom he has come to regard as a mentor. Seager said the veteran not only welcomed him to the team, but has also frequently offered him advice. Seager said that when he made an error Saturday in the Dodgers’ loss to the Colorado Rockies, Rollins provided him with tips on footwork and positioning. “He’s been amazing,” Seager said. “I couldn’t ask for anything better than that. He’s a veteran. He doesn’t need to do that. For him to go out there and still help is pretty awesome.”
In addition to playing shortstop, Seager has made three starts and played five games overall at third base. It hasn’t all been smooth sailing for the heralded prospect however, as Seager has committed five errors at shortstop. Though he’s also shown the ability to make difficult plays.
Transitioning to face Major-League pitchers hasn’t been met with much of a drop off, if any. Through 23 games (21 starts), Seager is batting .333/.423/.560 with three home runs, eight doubles and 15 RBIs.
Additionally, the 21-year-old shortstop has reached safely in 21 consecutive starts to begin his career, which is a Los Angeles franchise record.