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Dodgers: Roberts Remains Unconcerned With Corey Seager’s Defensive Decline

The numbers are tough to ignore.



Things do not appear to be 100 percent with Corey Seager on defense. He’s never really been thought of as an elite defender, but his bat has more than made up for that in the past. But Dodgers fans are starting to notice his defensive shortcomings in 2021. 

The most recent examples came on Saturday in a loss to the Brewers. There were two plays where he was standing to his right and just whiffed on them. One came in the 11th innings with a  1-run lead resulting in a tie ball game. Milwaukee would walk it off on the Dodgers that inning. 

But when asked about it after the game. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts didn’t seem concerned. He cited Seager’s history of making good defensive plays as reason to give him the benefit of the doubt. After Sunday’s game, Doc was once again asked about Seager’s declining defensive numbers. 

I know that the numbers, as far as runs saved and whatever, are down. I don’t think that it’s a small sample size. I know Corey expects to be better. He will be. I don’t think it’s positioning. I don’t think it’s focus on getting jumps on the baseball. I think he’s a plus defender at shortstop. He’s shown it.

Seager is now a -3 defensive runs saved in 2021. Anything below 0 is considered a bewlo-average defense. Seager had -2 DRS all of 2020 and had a marvelous +7 in 2017 in what appears to be an outlier year with the Dodgers. Still, Doc thinks things just aren’t going his way right now. 

I think there are some things that have happened, dropping the ball, these are just kind of outliers that have happened in this perfect storm the last couple of weeks.

Most of the advanced defensive metrics would tell you that Seager is trending in the wrong direction for his career. His Ultimate Zone Rating(UZR) is at -1.9 and headed for disaster if he keeps getting the same average number of opportunities. That’s something the Dodgers can’t afford. 

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They’ve been able to get by without big hits, but there is no surviving a lack of offense and defensive miscues. Seager has dropped balls thrown right to him, misjudged balls taking a hop, and even played poorly on stolen base attempts. He’s the guy the Dodgers want out there, but he might be pressing a bit at the moment. 

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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. When he talks to the media, Roberts isn’t worried about anything. When he’s in his office he has his head down on the desk and a bottle of antacids in his hand!
    You would think that in a free agent year Seager would be playing better?

    • He better step it up or he’s going to miss out on free agency. It’s all about the money and no loyalty to the team!

  2. Roberts doesn’t seemed to be concerned about any aspect of the way the team is playing. Maybe it’s time for a managerial change. Time to call Bochy

  3. Publicly doc isn’t concerned. what do you guys expect him to do? dress Corey down in public? Not gonna happen. now in private we might expect something different. But we’ll never know. The fact is, this is Corey’s contract year so he knows if he does well he gets the deal of a lifetime. So perhaps that is leading to pressure, and baseball players don’t do well with pressure. They have to let the game come to them, relax, have fun, and play hard. It’s still way too early to say Corey needs to sit, or receive public humiliation from his manager. Let’s see where we are in June. Meanwhile behind closed doors, we all have no idea what doc and the coaches are saying to their players, which is the right thing to do.

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