Dodgers: Corey Seager return trending up based on latest footage

Adam Weinrib
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - MARCH 10: Infielder Corey Seager #5 of the Los Angeles Dodgers in action during the third inning of the MLB spring training game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Camelback Ranch on March 10, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - MARCH 10: Infielder Corey Seager #5 of the Los Angeles Dodgers in action during the third inning of the MLB spring training game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Camelback Ranch on March 10, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Is Corey Seager the Dodgers’ shortstop of the future? We won’t mince words: probably, yes.

Luckily, that “future” seems set to restart almost immediately.

It’s easy to forget that most of the adversity facing Los Angeles early in this roller coaster season came due to a depleted roster. Would they have won a few more games if the dregs of their bullpen had managed to hold up? Of course!

But would they have had larger leads in several of these contests if Seager, Cody Bellinger, Mookie Betts and even Zach McKinstry had participated in all of them? Certainly. Sorry, Mitch White, but these guys could’ve saved you some heartburn.

In recent days, we’ve heard Seager is approaching normalcy, taking weighted swings with tennis balls attached to his hands as of June 11, and removing the splint he’d previously featured before this home stand began.

That’s encouraging, but it didn’t really suggest that he was close to all systems go, considering your typical baseball game doesn’t feature restrictive tennis balls.

We were much more encouraged by footage of Seager’s fielding practice from Sunday, which seemed to indicate that even if he’s been cautious, he’s approaching next steps.

Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager is approaching a return.

Dave Roberts has targeted early July for Seager’s return in recent weeks, and there seems to be no indication he’s fallen off that timeline, considering he’s back to normal range of motion here.

2021 was supposed to be a massively important campaign for Seager’s free agency, and a big year would’ve stood out as proof that he’s able to sustain his 2020 postseason level of production over the course of a larger sample size.

Then again … did he really need to prove anything to the baseball world? There was no way he’d be able to answer questions about his future at shortstop, even with a massive defensive season, and we’ve seen enough of his bat to know it plays. GMs will be paying for Seager’s peak this offseason, whether he held up through all of 2021 or not. This injury was freakish, and won’t matter much reputationally.

Still, the sooner he’s back, the better, and a two-week break before a rehab assignment begins sounds like organ music to Dodgers fans’ ears.

Dodger Stadium is reopening in full this week. The gold-trimmed uniforms are back. Corey Seager’s pressing on towards a rehab assignment.

Smelling a little 2020-ish in here to anyone else?

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