While the Los Angeles Dodgers managed to reach the World Series for a second consecutive season, the absence of Corey Seager was felt at various points leading up to and during their postseason run.
Upon Seager undergoing Tommy John surgery last May, the Dodgers initially manned shortstop internally by relying on Kiké Hernandez and Chris Taylor. The club then traded for Manny Machado prior to the non-waiver deadline.
Three months into his recovery, Seager had arthroscopic hip surgery. The second procedure was not expected to impact his timetable, and Seager indeed was active at the outset of Spring Training.
The Dodgers still handled him with care but Seager was in the lineup on Opening Day and thus far has avoided any sort of physical setbacks. However, he’s yet to find a sustained rhythm at the plate.
Following an 0-for-4 effort in which he struck out three times in a loss to the San Francisco Giants, Seager acknowledged he’s still working through refining his mechanics, per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
“There’s some things that are not where I’d like them to be,” said Seager. “I don’t want to blame it on that [rustiness]. I’m not where I should be. You obviously knew I would need some ABs. Been a long time, really long time, since I played every day and faced tough pitching.
“Just kind of searching a little bit, but I’m not far. Missing a few little things. I look for mechanics most of the time. There’s a few things that are off I’m trying to work through. What I’m doing wrong makes it a little tougher on the left-handed angle. It’s frustrating, yeah.”
The remarks are similar to what the two-time Silver Slugger expressed one month ago. That Seager would not be his usual self is certainly understandable.
He went nearly one year before being allowed to swing a bat, and was gradually allowed to do so before appearing in his first game since the surgeries. Entering Friday’s series opener against the San Diego Padres, Seager has just one hit over his last 24 at-bats in the past six games.
Overall this season, he’s batting .228/.323/.351 with eight doubles, two home runs and nine RBI. Seager has hit safely in 16 of 33 games (29 starts) thus far.