When the Los Angeles Dodgers called up prospect Corey Seager at the beginning of September, they were in need of a shortstop as Jimmy Rollins had suffered a right index finger injury.
Thrusting Seager into a starting role presumably wasn’t what the Dodgers first envisioned, as that appeared to be allowing the young shortstop to simply get his feet over the final month of the regular season. Then, have Seager compete for the job in 2016.
It was the blueprint used on bringing Joc Pederson along. Now one month into Seager’s Major-League career, the shortstop has far and away exceeded expectations. While Seager has not been named the starting shortstop for the National League Division Series, general manager Farhan Zaidi said that his lack of experience will not decide whether he or Rollins starts.
“At the end of the day we’re going to go with the guy at every spot on the roster and in the lineup, the collective group that gives us the best chance to win,” Zaidi said. “And that’s ability, past performance and experience, a lot of stuff goes into that.” Zaidi also marveled at the composure Seager has exuded in high-pressure situations thus far.
“Everybody has been really pleased with not just his performance, but how he’s handled himself. I think he’s gotten the respect from a lot of guys in the clubhouse,” Zaidi said. “He’s been in big situations. The series in San Francisco came close to a playoff atmosphere with what was at stake, and he handled himself really well. So, we don’t have any concerns with him.”
In split time between Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City this season, Seager batted .293/.344/.487 with 18 home runs and 76 RBIs. He then continued that after being called up, batting .337/.425/.561 with four home runs and 17 RBIs in 27 games with the Dodgers.