Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Coming off their first World Series appearance in 29 years, the Los Angeles Dodgers hoped to return to the Fall Classic and end the franchise’s championship drought in 2018. However, they immediately faced a challenge when Corey Seager was lost for the season.
After pushing through elbow issues during parts of the previous year, Seager was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery. While recovering from that operation he had arthroscopic left hip surgery.
The Dodgers were cautious in moving Seager along the rehab process through the winter and into Spring Training. As expected, he was in the lineup for Opening Day and other than missing a brief stretch due to a hamstring strain, played regularly throughout 2019.
But Seager was plagued by inconsistency, which in some regard was to be expected given he underwent two surgeries and essentially missed all of 2018. The 26-year-old resembled his two-time Silver Slugger Award winner form during spring and has continued with that success in Dodgers Summer Camp.
“Fortunately I got to work out here and just kind of build off the offseason,” Seager explained. “This was the first offseason I really to able to get right into strength training and not have to worry about healing anything.”
On top of a health winter, Seager took advantage of an unfortunate situation when MLB was forced to shut down. “I guess this silver lining to this was I just got an extended offseason,” he said.
“It’s honestly been a blessing. It was kind of a silver lining. Just to be able to get back to physicality you want. I felt like was there, I felt like I was ready in Spring Training. I was definitely ahead of where I had been the last couple years. Those few extra months definitely did help a lot.”
Even with Seager not meeting expectations last season, he still tied with Anthony Rendon for the National League lead with 44 doubles. Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman considered the year a “great success” for his shortstop and was optimistic looking ahead to 2020.
Keep Corey healthy until Opening Day
The Dodgers are in the final week of workouts and intrasquad scrimmages before beginning their exhibition slate on Sunday. They will play a combined three games against the Arizona Diamondbacks and L.A. Angels prior to having a day off ahead of starting the season July 23.
Seager is among the players whose performance indicates he’s prepared for the regular season, which isn’t lost on manager Dave Roberts. “I’m not going to say that thought didn’t cross my mind,” Roberts answered when asked if he considered putting Seager in bubblewrap.
“But we’re going to keep running him out there. Corey, he’s in a great place physically, mentally and mechanically. It’s good to see. We still need to keep building up the legs as far as innings played and still taking on at-bats.”
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