Dodgers: Is Management Making the Right Call on Seager?
By Brook Smith
The Dodgers’ front office is hopeful Corey Seager can rehab from his elbow injury without going under the knife. But is surgery a better option for him long term?
At a press conference last week that kicked off the offseason, the Dodgers‘ front office made a couple of big announcement in regards to this offseason and a few key players. One of the announcements was how they would approach taking care of Corey Seager’s sore elbow.
It seems as though the entire league would expect Seager to undergo some sort of procedure, considering how limited he had been over the last few months of the season. And yet Friedman announced rather than surgery, Seager would undergo rehab for the elbow, rather than a surgical procedure to keep him out for a lengthy period.
Seager struggled with his throws, even though it’s not publicly known what exactly is the issue with his elbow. And while the team did say he sat out the Championship Series with a bad back, it’s likely his sore elbow also played a part in the decision for him to sit out.
Seager struggled even when on the playoff roster though, and made some costly errors. While he did manage three hits in 11 at-bats during the series against Arizona, Seager hit just .217 in the World Series, albeit with a fairly important home run.
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Seager’s strikeouts did go up as well, as he consistently chased balls out of the zone in the playoffs. The young shortstop finished with 11 strikeouts in 34 at-bats during the playoffs, batting .235 overall. Considering those drastic changes in numbers, it’s clear that something was physically wrong with Seager.
Critics have called into question what should be the course of action for the phenom. The team seems to think Seager will be able to bounce back from his injury with rest this off-season. As a result, they are opting out of any type of surgical procedure. The decision is questionable, as a surgery now would likely have Seager back by the middle of the 2018 season.
The concern here is that if he doesn’t need the surgery now, he will later. If Seager does need surgery in April, then you can pretty much consider him out for the entire season. That has been the argument from critics thus far, that they are being too optimistic about his injury. It’s certainly a better option to lose him earlier in the year rather than during a playoff run.
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My personal opinion is that the Dodgers may be making a costly mistake in how they have been handling the young shortstop. In fact, I am of the opinion that he probably should not have been on the playoff roster altogether. Not because he did not perform, he did quite well considering the circumstances of his injury. Instead, I would have preferred a healthy player to fill his role while he recovered from surgery. Charlie Culberson played excellent defense at shortstop in his absence and hit .500 in the playoffs. I would rather have Seager miss the first months of the season than taking the chance of him missing playoffs. I guess we’ll wait and see.