LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers are hopeful that shortstop Corey Seager won’t need surgery this offseason on his right elbow, instead hoping rest and treatment in the offseason will improve matters.
“We expect the time we have in the offseason will help heal. We’re going to push back the throwing program a little bit, and go through a treatment program that we feel will put him the best position to come into camp and be healthy,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said on Tuesday. “We’re going to continue to monitor it, so I don’t know if we have the exact answer right now.”
Seager’s right elbow was an issue for most of the last six weeks of the regular season, something that affected him more in the field than at the plate. After an MRI in August, it was thought Seager might need a medical procedure of some sort in the offseason to address the issues in his elbow, though he continued to manage the pain for the remainder of the season.
Seager wasn’t placed on the disabled list with his elbow injury, though he was held out of the starting lineup for 11 days, limited to five pinch-hit appearances from Aug. 29 to Sept. 7.
From his first game held out of the starting lineup through the end of the regular season, Seager hit .205/.280/.349 in 26 games. Seager had seven extra-base hits — four doubles and three home runs — over his final 44 games.
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Friedman said he expects Adrian Gonzalez to be an everyday player again in 2018, after back injuries limited the first baseman to just 71 games and 57 starts this season. “It was a frustrating year from his standpoint having never really missed time like this, and he did everything he could to get back as quickly as he could, but when you are running out of time in the season you tend to rush things a little bit,” Friedman said.
Andrew Toles, who had surgery to repair a torn ACL in May, is hitting during his rehab. “We expect him ready in spring training,” Friedman said. “Exactly what that means and what kind of load he can take on in February and March, we’re not sure. But we’re optimistic he’ll be ready opening day.”
General manager Farhan Zaidi mentioned Toles and Julio Urias — who had left shoulder surgery in June and is expected back at some point in the second half of 2018 — as key rehabs this winter. “Those are going to be important recoveries we’ll monitor over the course of the offseason,” Zaidi said. “Those guys are potentially big parts of our team.”
With key free agent departures Brandon Morrow and Tony Watson from the bullpen, the Dodgers plan to explore external relief candidates this winter, but one intriguing internal option is Yimi Garcia, who is expected back next year after Tommy John surgery in December 2016. “We expect Yimi Garcia to be in the mix for us next year,” Zaidi said.