Those following the Corey Seager elbow situation closely all spring have every right to be a bit nervous. Seager recently played his first minor league game at the position after eight appearances as the designated hitter. On Wednesday, Seager made it known that we can rest easily. He declared that his elbow is 100 percent, and said he would be ready to be penciled in the opening day lineup.
Corey Seager said his right elbow feels good and has no doubt he’ll be ready for Opening Day. #Dodgers
— David Vassegh (@THEREAL_DV) March 14, 2018
A year ago, the interest in Seager in the national realm was at a fever pitch. ESPN The Magazine did a feature story on him leading the wave of young shorstops in the game. With him on the mend at the present – much of the hype has quieted. After several seasons of following him, this is probably fine with Corey. With many eyes elsewhere on the flavor of the month young players, true greatness often emerges quietly.
Seager spent all of last season facing adversity in the way of physical problems as we recently examined. He still managed to hit .295 with 22 home runs and 77 RBI. Knowing he probably was never at full strength, these numbers become a bit more impressive. If Seager is truly feeling good physically, it’s reasonable to expect that these numbers start to approach an upward arc.
My first reaction is still a little bit of paranoia if I’m being honest. Until I see Seager get through a few weeks without needing a day off due to soreness or rest – I’m not sure that I can fully relax. Even still, we have every reason to take the young man at his word. This probably isn’t a case of a player saying the right things just to get himself inserted into the lineup. We are talking about a team player in every sense of the word. The player knows it would do him no good to put himself in danger of great injury. Furthermore, he wouldn’t try to play through something if it were going to jeopardize the team’s chance at long-term success.
Example: Seager was forced to miss the NLCS in 2017 because of a troubling back injury. There was no bigger series to be played in his life at that point. Seager still did the right thing, handing the baton to Charlie Culberson and company to grant the Dodgers’ berth to the World Series.
The primary focus has been Seager being in the lineup for opening day since this storyline took life. Concerns about anyone other than Corey Seager playing shortstop on March 29th should be quelled. He says he’s ready to give it a go – and the team seems in full compliance with his statements. The greater concern should be his performance and health after a few weeks of every-day duty at the position.
Based on what Seager has done in his short career – with much of it being accompanied by some type of nagging ailment – a clean bill of health all year could yield incredible production. The Dodgers will reap the benefits of one of baseball’s most consistent and dependable players. Corey Seager hitting two-hole and making incredible defensive plays every night is a key component needed for a return trip to the World Series. Los Angeles is going to have their quiet, steady lead-dog with them when they go to battle.
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