For MLB position players the purpose of Spring Training is get their share of at-bats and innings in the field to be ready by Opening Day. But more important than that, heading into the season healthy is a top priority.
That has been a struggle for Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager the past two years, as last spring he missed a good amount of time with a knee injury. His Opening Day status was in jeopardy, but Seager was able to recover in time for the start of the season, and wound up playing 157 games in 2016.
Now this year, the 22-year-old has been dealing with an oblique issue that has kept him out of Cactus League games since March 3. Seager’s injury was initially said to be upper back soreness.
After easing back into workouts, Seager participated in a Minor League game on a backfield at Camelback Ranch. Despite going 0-for-3, he was glad to have gotten through the game healthy, per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
“The results weren’t there, but it was positive,” said Seager. “Just to get over the mental hurdle, to be full-go. I’ve been throwing, but the swinging needed the game intensity. It’s hard to replicate that. It was nice to get it into a game.”
Seager has played just three games this spring and is 0-for-5 with a walk. He only got 20 at-bats in Cactus League play last year, which of course didn’t have much of an impact as he went on to be unanimously selected as National League Rookie of the Year.
Next for Seager is playing in another Minor League game on Thursday, when he’s also expected to play his position.
Without Seager, the Dodgers have given time to Charlie Culberson and Chris Taylor, among others, at shortstop. Culberson and Taylor are competing for one of the remaining bench spots on the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster.