Monday on MLB.com, an article talked about the ‘most indispensable players for every team’. Clayton Kershaw was of course the Dodger listed. But one could make the case for Corey Seager being worthy of that spot, especially as an everyday player. Right now, Seager is in a crucial period of sorts.
Seager has been relegated to designated hitter duty in every spring training appearance thus far. Appearing in eight games, he’s hit just .190 (4-for-21). This is all due to Seager working his way back from a challenging elbow issue.
You may recall that Dave Roberts said Seager would need about 10 games at shortstop to be ready for Opening Day. The math isn’t exactly in Seager’s favor, but you can see the framework of the Dodgers’ plan. There are 14 contests remaining in spring, and Seager still figures to get a few days off.
On Monday, Seager took the first big step in his progression to once again be the Dodgers’ everyday shorstop.
Corey Seager made two throws in a B game, remained alive and pronounced himself unworried about the status of his elbow.
— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) March 12, 2018
While it won’t count towards his official spring training stats, the good news didn’t end there.
— Michael J. Duarte (@michaeljduarte) March 12, 2018
Seager didn’t seem particularly excited about today’s developments (does he ever)? But there was one bit of information that is important as a takeaway.
Seager did not view the outing as a milestone worth celebrating. He suspected that if he had not gotten sick this spring and sat out about a week, he would have appeared in a game much earlier. He reiterated that he does not feel discomfort in the elbow, which bothered him throughout the second half of 2017. Seager plans to be ready for opening day.
“Right now there’s nothing telling me otherwise,” Seager said. “I don’t really want to start thinking about if and when or whatever. For right now, pretty confident.”
The fact that Seager is pain-free is the largest bright spot of the story. As long as this remains the case, he’s going to give it a go and be on the field for the Dodgers.
If we step back and look at things from 50,000 feet above, it’s easy to see what the Dodgers are doing. Someone or a group of someone’s smarter than you and I sat in a meeting room and set forth a plan of action for Seager’s recovery schedule. Somewhere along the line this day had a star on the calendar as the first day he would test things at shortstop. With the amount of games remaining on the spring schedule, he’s right in line to be meet Roberts’ requirement of 10 games and be in the opening day lineup on March 29th against the Giants.
If I were a betting man, Seager plays that evening and gets a couple of knocks; albeit quietly. On this day, the arrow is pointing up for the sure-handed and steady Dodgers cornerstone player.
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