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Dodgers: Is Corey Seager’s Elbow Holding Him Back?



By now, it’s safe to say that every player on the Dodgers is struggling, perhaps with one exception. Other than Yasmani Grandal, the team simply looks dead at the plate. I have never seen a team look more defeated in a one-run ballgame than the 2018 Dodgers. And while everyone is struggling to get going, I have to single out one player.

It’s no secret at this point that Corey Seager has had issues with his throwing elbow. It was a hot topic in the offseason whether he should have surgery to clean it up or to take the risk of riding it out. Ultimately, he opted to ride it out and see what rest would do for him. So far, not so good.

Seager’s numbers thus far aren’t great, but that aligns with about 95% of the lineup. What’s more concerning is the strength behind his throws and lack of an extra-base hit. Truthfully, not reaching bases doesn’t exactly spell danger for a guy who’s average exit velocity is over 90 mph. It is far more concerning when you consider that roughly 1/3 of Seager’s hits last year resulted in extra bases. With just five singles and a lowly 192 batting average, Seager may indeed be hurting more than he is letting on.

And let’s face it, that would not be good for a team that is struggling to find it’s way offensively. No one knows the extent of his pain, but a season-ending elbow injury would devastate the Dodgers and their fans. Just because he made exceptionally hard contact in Spring does not mean he is 100 percent now.

 

The biggest red flag for me has been the way Seager is throwing on the field. On almost every ball hit to him, he seems to very casually tossing the ball over to first base. Next time he is on the field, be sure to keep an eye on him and tell me what you think.

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. I don’t think Seagers elbow is holding him back. I thought the rest and rehab help a lot and I think he is going to be fine.

  2. I agree and have been watching Seager with every throw. I may be wrong, but it appears that there is less velocity on his throws and he seems to be throwing much more from over the top. This may be his way of coping with an unhealthy elbow.
    Prior to his elbow problem he seemed to sling the ball to first from a three quarter side arm position. He had good velocity but from a fundamental throwing aspect, that’s not a good habit. I’ll be amazed if he can last through May. The Dodgers have a major problem with him and they’re covering it up. Surgery should have happened in the off-season but I think he feared the worst. Yes, his hitting is a side effect of his condition. He’s damaged goods and the Dodgers know it and now have a monstrous decision to make.

    • I noticed that as well. Definitely looks to me like he is compensating for something, and you can only assume its that wonky elbow. Sure hope it doesn’t end up being a long-term issue!

      • All through Spring Training, the Dodgers seemed to be resting themselves for the post-season. If they make it, good strategy, but some holes can get so deep, they are too difficult to get out of. How many 43-8 seasons can they expect to have? You play like you practice, and the Dodgers practice was not so good. They look just like they did in Spring Training.

  3. The fear of an ailment flaring up is as bad as the ailment itself flaring up. He is trying to save his hard throws for close plays. Players are always in denial for fear of losing a season. Youth always thinks it can handle things, even when it can’t

  4. Yes, Seager has definitely changed his throwing mechanics which I believe was by design — a change was needed. The velocity on his throws appears to be lower, but he is getting rid of the ball quickly and with excellent accuracy. If his elbow is bad enough for surgery then he is hiding the pain very well; never seen him grimace or rub after a throw and he has a full extension in his swing with excellent bat speed. Could there be an elbow problem? Sure, but no outward signs IMO.

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