The Los Angeles Dodgers’ already rough 2018 season was dealt a major blow when it was announced on shortstop Corey Seager would miss the remainder of the year after being forced to undergo Tommy John Surgery.
The decision was made after Seager attempted to play through a sore throwing elbow instead of seeking more extensive treatment that may have prevented him from playing at all this season.
Ever since Tommy John Surgery was first revolutionized by then-Dodgers physician Frank Jobe in the 1970s, it has primarily been used on pitchers, with its history of use on position players much shorter and less successful.
Because of that, along with Seager’s history of back and shoulder injuries, it made a little sense to wonder if Seager would consider switching positions to alleviate the stress on his arm that throwing to first base from shortstop requires.
However, when asked if he would have any discussions or thoughts about moving from shortstop, Seager had a firm answer, via SportsNet LA:
“No. Not at all. Right now, it’s just trying to get back to being able to throw and move around and basically get back to playing baseball.”
The Dodgers famously accommodated another star shortstop who changed positions after injury struggles when they signed current SportsNet LA analyst Nomar Garciaparra to play first base in 2006. Garciaparra had spent his prime as a shortstop for the Boston Red Sox.
Seager can find encouragement in more recent examples of infielders undergoing Tommy John Surgery. Both Minnesota Twins third baseman Miguel Sano and New York Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres successfully remained at their natural positions after having the procedure in the minor leagues.
Torres currently plays second base in New York, but only because the Yankees have an established shortstop in Didi Gregorius. The Dodgers surely hope that Seager can also stay put so he can regain his status as one of the best young shortstops in all of baseball.