Corey Seager entered the 2019 MLB season as a bit of an unknown for the Los Angeles Dodgers as he was looking to shake the cobwebs off after appearing in just 26 games last year before undergoing separate Tommy John and hip surgeries.
As one would expect with such a long layoff, Seager has struggled to find his groove at the plate in the early going. He entered Sunday’s finale against the Washington Nationals entangled in a 6-for-48 slump dating back to April 26 (13 games).
While most of the attention went to Hyun-Jin Ryu’s near no-hitter, it was Seager that provided the dagger in the form of an eighth-inning grand slam that gave the Dodgers a commanding 6-0 lead.
All-in-all, he went 1-for-3 with a sacrifice fly and a season-high five RBI. After the win, Seager conceded the 2019 season has been difficult for him thus far, but he was nonetheless happy with his results at the plate against the Nationals on Sunday, via Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times:
“It was a better day today,” Seager said. “I’ve been grinding pretty good. I put some good swings on it today. It was nice. It’s been a challenge so far, so hopefully it gets better.”
Having taken a step in the right direction to potentially turning his season around, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts previously noted his belief that Seager is close to returning to pre-surgery form.
Roberts noted Seager’s excellent plate discipline as a factor in his premise, deeming that when he stays in the strike zone, good results typically follow. Seager has already drawn 20 walks on the season while striking out 36 times in comparison.
As for Seager’s personal point-of-view, he believes his swing mechanics aren’t quite there yet due to the amount of time he was sidelined last season. Though, the 2016 National League Rookie of the Year did admit he is growing more comfortable at the plate with each passing game.
In 41 games this season, Seager is hitting .227/.323/.362 (83 OPS+) with 10 doubles, three home runs and 17 RBI over 164 plate appearances. Despite his offensive shortcomings, he has accumulated a positive 0.6 WAR (Baseball-Reference) on the year, contributing in other facets such as defense and baserunning.