Dodgers: Should We Be Worried About Corey Seager?
No Need to Fear, Corey is Here
But it’s not all doom and gloom. Seager’s glove has picked up right where he left off, even as his bat has struggled to come back to its previous form. He has been able to make plenty of sensational plays and also has yet (knock on wood) to make an error in 26 starts at shortstop this season.
In 2018, Seager played 221 innings at shortstop with 26 putouts and 3 errors. In his 224 innings to date at shortstop in 2019, Seager has 26 putouts and no errors. If anything, the hip surgery and Tommy John may have even cleaned up any mobility difficulties the lanky shortstop had been facing (though that is purely speculative).
Now that it seems Seager is feeling himself at shortstop, the question remains, Will he be able to stay healthy and maintain a career of longevity.
In attempting to answer this question, I researched medical reviews of sports injuries and of past success stories of Tommy John infielders in the MLB.
Here’s what I found.
According to the US National Library of Medicine’s report on arthroscopic hip surgery, which is what Seager had, players who underwent surgery were likely to play at least one season in their major league again (not just MLB players).
"The RTS rate for MLB athletes after hip arthroscopic surgery for FAI was high. There were similar IP, PA, and career lengths postoperatively compared with preoperatively and with matched controls. More from LA Dodgers News Kevin Kiermaier being ‘top target’ to replace Cody Bellinger is bad sign for Dodgers Giants laughably sign pitcher that Dodgers absolutely own Dave Roberts’ quote about Padres in NLDS should motivate Dodgers Former Astro seemingly takes uncalled for shot at Cody Bellinger after Cubs deal Dodgers’ 2023 lineup without Trea Turner isn’t as impressive as it should be"
Seager’s prospects of success in terms of recovering from hip surgery are high based off of this report, but what about the Tommy John surgery?
Based on former position players who have undergone this procedure in the past few decades, the prognosis is positive.
Other players who have recovered successfully from TJ include Shin-Soo Choo, who went on to have a solid MLB career in the outfield and whose arm strength has remained solid for his entire career, Zach Cozart, who has continued to be able to play the shortstop position at a high level, and Mike Aviles, another utility infielder, to name the most significant players of the 2000s.
The greatest TJ “success story” amongst infielders comes in the form of Hall of Fame third basemen Paul Molitor, who went on to have a Hall of Fame career after his TJ surgery.
Based on past history and present glimpses of past prowess, the prognosis, in my far from professional medical opinion, is that Corey Seager will be back to normal at some point soon, hopefully in the next few months.