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.
During an interview with David Vassegh on “Dodger Talk,” via AM 570 L.A. Sports, Seager explained how the MLB hiatus because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic wound up benefitting him:
“I kind of got to go into the stadium a few months before we started (Summer Camp). So I’ve pretty much been going full tilt since then. Been working out with [Brandon McDaniel] and [Travis Smith], just trying to get everything in shape. … Definitely been doing some different things and just trying to get as strong as possible coming off the surgeries.
“Being able to almost have an extended offseason of working out again was almost a blessing. Obviously you would rather be playing, but tried to make the most of it. … It always helps to get back to the physicality you were at before and be able to move on. It was a good offseason and I would’ve definitely been ready to go, but the blessing in disguise was to be able to keep building on that and getting stronger.”
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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