When the MRI results came back and revealed a mild sprain of the left knee, many Dodgers fans were able to breathe a sigh of relief. However, after the dust settled and the possibility arose of prized shortstop Corey Seager missing the beginning of the regular season, a bit of minor panic surfaced once again.
Pain in the knee forced Seager to leave in the third inning of an 8-4 spring training loss to the Angels on Friday. He initially felt the pain in the outer part of his knee while rounding first base after hitting a single in the first inning. He was eventually replaced at short by Charlie Culberson.
Seager himself said that he feared the worst.
Depending on when he’s healthy enough to return to baseball activities, there may not be enough time before Opening Day to prepare him with the necessary number of swings and infield repetitions to be entirely ready.
When Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts was approached for comment, he said that he was still gathering information, but wouldn’t rule out Seager beginning the season on the disabled list.
On Saturday, we discussed how abundantly deep the Dodgers were at second base, and although there are a number of fine gloves defensively, the depth at shortstop pales in comparison offensively.
The possibility does exist of sliding Justin Turner over to short and having Rob Segedin provide cover at third until Seager is ready, but Turner himself has been rehabbing his own knee after surgery, and hopes to make his Cactus League debut Monday as designated hitter. All efforts with Turner will be getting him ready to play third.
When asked by Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman expressed that the injury is short term, and that the team wouldn’t need to do anything drastic in terms of shuffling players before Seager’s return.
“It’s nothing long term,” Friedman said. “As soon as he’s asymptomatic, he’ll be back. A week or two. There’s no tear, there’s no surgery, nothing more than treating and waiting until he’s asymptomatic and getting him back on the field. He was still feeling sore, but after we checked we’re confident it’s nothing that will linger long term.”
In five Cactus League games this year, Seager is hitting .231 (3-for-13) with a double.
After being called up from Triple-A Oklahoma last September, he slashed .337/.425/.561 in 27 games played for the Dodgers.
Seager is the preseason, consensus favorite to win National League Rookie of the Year honors.
(Photo Credit: John Locher/AP)