Throughout the 2015 season many grew frustrated with the Los Angeles Dodgers front office’s unwillingness to call up top prospect Corey Seager. As veteran Jimmy Rollins continued to struggle through the first half of the season, the calls for Seager intensified.
Seager’s time finally came when he was called up from Triple-A on Sept. 3, and started at shortstop against the San Diego Padres. In his first Major-League start, the 21 year old went 2-for-4 with on double and two RBIs.
Seager went on to have one of the best months for an offensive rookie in Dodgers history. He reached base safely in 21 consecutive starts to begin his career, setting a Los Angeles franchise record, while batting .318 and posting a .940 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in the month of September.
While Dodgers manager Don Mattingly hasn’t stated so publicly, Rollins said he was informed of a change during a meeting with Mattingly, according to Steve Dilbeck of the LA Times:
They’re going to play him,” Rollins said. “We had a conversation and that’s the way it was said: ‘We’re going to go with the kid. That’s the lineup we feel is best.’”
While it may be tough for the 15-year veteran to give way to a rookie, Rollins has routinely placed the club’s success ahead of himself; that notion is further evident from the mentoring Seager said Rollins has provided.
Rollins still figures to play a key role in the postseason, whether it be as a pinch-hitter and/or defensive replacement. Seager has committed five errors at shortstop during his brief time up with the Dodgers.
Rollins’ presence also gives Mattingly additional flexibility with his infielders, as Seager is capable of sliding over to third base.