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Still no timetable for Corey Seager, out with tightness in his side

Colorado Rockies v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images

PHOENIX — There is still no timetable for the return of shortstop Corey Seager to the Dodgers lineup, but there was a twist on Friday in how the injury was being classified.

Seager tweaked his back on March 3 and hasn’t played since, but on Friday manager Dave Roberts said the injury was more “oblique-ish” than just the back.

"He's progressing, but there is still a little something in there still that he feels as he goes through the treatments and ramping up the exercise. That in itself tells us we have to keep pumping the brakes,” Roberts said. “He's getting better, but there is no reason to get him in there yet.”

Seager said the tightness is his side, and he feels it more when he’s crouched over or turning to field a ball backhanded.

Friday marks the sixth straight game and seventh straight day Seager is out of action, and the mere mention of an oblique usually means recovery is measured in weeks than days. But for now, Roberts says he is not worried about Seager’s readiness for the regular season.

"With spring training, you can always go to the minor league side -- he did that last year -- and get 10 at-bats per day to get the timing. He's still riding the bike and keeping his legs under him, so that's important. With Corey, there's still plenty of time.”

Seager missed the final 19 days of Cactus League games in Arizona last year with a sprained knee before returning for the Freeway Series, a short three-game tuneup for the regular season. Seager said he was more worried about last year’s injury than this one, and had no doubts he’ll be ready for opening day.

"It's still early,” Seager said. “There's no panic about being ready or any of that stuff yet.”

The Dodgers don’t know yet if Seager will repeat that 2016 schedule this spring.

“The things that were good initially was there wasn't too much pain and he didn't do it swinging, and he has improved every day,” Roberts said. “I don't know when he's going to be back in the lineup, but I know every day he's getting better.”

Seager hasn’t participated in baseball activities and hasn’t swung a bat for a week, and has been limited to exercises, adding a little more each day.

“I actually progressed a little today, did some core exercises. It's coming,” Seager said. "As long as I keep feeling better, I'll keep doing more and more stuff."


Pedro Baez resumed his throwing program Friday, expected to play catch from 60-90 feet. He has been down for two weeks after taking a comebacker off his right hand.

"There is still some pain in there,” Roberts said. “As I understand it, it's not going to get worse, it's kind of per his tolerance.”

Brandon McCarthy starts for the Dodgers on Friday and is expected to pitch three innings, with Julio Urias expected to pitch two innings.

Also scheduled pitchers for the Dodgers on Friday night include Josh Ravin, Jacob Rhame, Brandon Morrow, Patrick Schuster, and Ralston Cash.

Andre Ethier, who left Monday’s game with back tightness, is dealing with hip spasms now. Roberts said Ethier is unlikely to play Friday or Saturday.

Andrew Toles is still dealing with what Roberts termed a “light knee thing,” and O`Koyea Dickson was slated to be the designated hitter on Friday but was scratched with glute tightness.

"With the extended spring [because of the WBC], we're just being a little cautious,” Roberts said. “There's really no reason, since we've taken the guys on the front end, to rush these guys back.”

As starting pitchers go deeper into game, the Dodgers will soon have their pitchers bat in spring games instead of using the DH. This will begin with Clayton Kershaw on Sunday.

Old friend James Loney, a non-roster invitee with the Rangers, starts at designated hitter for Texas, batting sixth. It is his first game at Camelback Ranch since March 24, 2012.

Loney’s 860 games at first base are fifth-most by a Dodger dating back to 1913, trailing only Gil Hodges, Eric Karros, Steve Garvey and Wes Parker.

Game info

Opponent: Rangers

Time: 6:05 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA

Radio: 570 AM