The Los Angeles Dodgers received major reinforcements prior to the start of their three-game series against the Boston Red Sox, seeing the returns of David Freese, A.J. Pollock and Corey Seager off the injured list.
Seager, who had missed the last month of action with a left hamstring strain, was penciled into the lineup in each of the first two games at Fenway Park. Though Seager felt healthy entering the weekend series, he looked noticeably rusty and failed to record a hit over nine at-bats.
The 25-year-old was out of the lineup for Sunday’s finale, though he ultimately accumulated two pinch-hit appearances later in the contest. Seager went 0-for-2, extending his hitless streak to 11 consecutive at-bats.
Beyond not scratching in his trips to the plate, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts believes Seager’s struggles against the Red Sox stemmed from being overly aggressive, per Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“He’s always going to be aggressive. But I just think he was out of the strike zone too much,” Roberts said. “It doesn’t matter how good you are or how good your swing feels if you’re not swinging at strikes it’s going to be tough sledding.”
Roberts is nonetheless confident that Seager will eventually find his groove again with time:
“Corey is going to hit. As always like with any hitter, you have to trust you’re a better hitter when you’re in the strike zone than when you’re out.”
Seager often fell behind in the count due to his tendency to swing at pitches outside of the zone. Over his first nine plate appearances against the Red Sox, the young shortstop swung at the first pitch in six of those opportunities, and in general, saw a total of only 30 pitches.
Seager similarly struggled at the beginning of the season as he was still making his way back from separate Tommy John and hip surgeries.
Seager hit just .236 in April before progressively improving with each passing month. He raised his batting average to .264 in May before breaking out in June, hitting .425 with eight extra-base hits over nine 10 games.
In addition to being overaggressive against the Red Sox, some of Seager’s struggles can be tied to the Dodgers facing three left-handed starters in the series. Seager is hitting just .213 against southpaws this season.