The Dodgers, after nearly two and a half months of waiting, finally got Corey Seager back from the injured list. The shortstop had been on the IL since mid-May with a fractured bone in his right hand that was initially given a best-case recovery prognosis of 4-5 weeks for it to heal.
Seager missed 64 games.
The Dodgers have struggled with the injury bug all season long. That fact led to Andrew Friedman going out and acquiring All-Star shortstop Trea Turner from the Washington Nationals along with 3-time Cy Young award winner Max Scherzer.
On Friday, Corey made his return and chipped in a pair of hits in a 6-5 extra innings loss against the D-Backs. Before the game, he chatted with a group of reporters about the obvious elephant in the room. He’s a shortstop and Trea Turner is a shortstop.
“I’d like to play shortstop. That’s not really my decision. That’s their decision. I want to play shortstop, but we’ll see where it goes. … You’re excited to add guys like that whether they’re pitchers, position players, play your position or not. If you can add elite talent like we did, it helps you, it makes you a better team.”
Friedman touched on what Turner brings to the team… “Dynamic player.” “He contributes value in all aspects of the game.” “Excited to add a right-handed bat” of his caliber. But he wouldn’t touch on who will eventually end up seeing the lion’s share of time at shortstop. In fact, he purposefully avoided it.
Dave Roberts said that he wants to chat with Turner face to face before announcing any moves.
Seager batted fourth and started at shortstop on Friday. Over his career, he’s played 551 games at short and a whopping 6 at third base. Otherwise, he’s played nowhere else in the big leagues or minor leagues.
He’s also missed a lot of time with injuries over his 7-year career. He’s undergone Tommy John surgery on his throwing arm, a hip operation, and just endured a long recovery from a broken bone. Seager shared his frustrating experience with that.
I had some setbacks. I had some things that didn’t feel as good as I wanted them to. It was unfortunate. Unlucky, for sure. … I probably could have (played sooner) but it wasn’t worth it. You don’t want to come back for a game and then something happens. It was one of those things where it didn’t respond the way we wanted it to. … It was very frustrating. … But I’m ready now.
With those two hits in his return, Seager showed that he can absolutely still hit. And a nice backhanded play early in the game proved he can still get it done at shortstop.
“Corey’s been our shortstop for many years and he’s a premier shortstop,” Dave Roberts added on Friday. “Trea is right there in that same caliber. … So I’m going to talk to him and kind of figure out where the best fit is for him, for our club. But [Turner] can do so many things on a baseball field, and right now he’s a Dodger. Corey is a Dodger. It’s about winning and we’ll put the pieces together.”
The Dodgers and Dave Roberts are in another one of those tough spots with a good problem to have. Turner is currently on the covid-19 injury list after testing positive for the virus. The hope is that he can join the team during the upcoming homestand.