Rarely does a team take a blow so earlier in the season as this, but that’s the way the cookie has crumbled for the Los Angeles Dodgers. The team announced yesterday that star shortstop and 2016 Rookie of the Year Corey Seager would miss the rest of this season after having Tommy John surgery.
Late last year, Seager encountered elbow issues. This news, however, comes as a big surprise, since the club has been so tight-lipped about the young stars ailments. For the time being, infielder Breyvic Valera will come up from Oklahoma City to fill the roster spot, but the Dodgers will for sure be looking for someone to fill the void left by Seager.
This couldn’t be a worse start to the 2018 season for Los Angeles. Coming off a 12-16 start, the Dodgers are currently 8.0 games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks, and 3.0 games in front of the last place Padres. For a team who took the Astros to Game 6 in the World Series just over 7 months ago, this is absolute pits.
Not to mention the success of their cross-town rivals in Anaheim.
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So now the question is how will the Dodgers fix their lineup without Seager. For the time being, expect to see a lot of Kiké Hernandez at short, with Valera picking up some starts in between. Hernandez might be the easiest solution, but due to his utility skills, losing him shortens the Dodger bench.
If there is any silver lining in all of this it’s the number of increased at-bats for Alex Verdugo. Verdugo’s use will definitely increase as he falls into the outfield floater spot vacated by Hernandez. That’s a great thing for the Dodger’s future, but is still going to sting while they are the transitioning.
The Dodgers were already struggling to right their ship after a rocky start to the season. Clayton Kershaw can’t get a win if he paid for it. Cody Bellinger is being benched for not hustling out groundballs. Hyun-Jin Ryu is the best player on the roster. Something has to change. Perhaps this might be the shake up the Dodgers have been looking for. Even if it means losing Corey Seager.