After injuries played a part down the stretch in 2017, they played the biggest role in Corey Seager’s 2018 season.
What went right
Not a whole lot went right for Seager during this year. The Dodgers were cautious at the beginning of the season with their 24-year-old shortstop, coming off the end of 2017 when he had inflammation in his throwing elbow.
In the weekend series in San Francisco just before being shut down for the year, Seager was 5-for-14 with a home run and had started a six-game hitting streak. After a slow start with the bat, it looked like Seager was going to get hot. But then he felt something in a couple throws that caused numbness, ultimately resulting in season-ending surgery.
Seager would finish up hitting .267/.348/.396 with two home runs and five doubles in 26 games.
What went wrong
The Dodgers announced April 30 that Seager would need Tommy John surgery, ending his year. The elbow pain the Dodgers tried to solve with rest and rehab, never fully went away.
“Where we were in the calendar at the time, it made sense to take a conservative approach, and see if that would alleviate the symptoms,” general manager Farhan Zaidi told reporters, per Andy McCullough of the LA Times. “It obviously worked for a while. Things deteriorated now to the point where it’s clearly surgical.”
With clear disappointment, Seager defended the call to rehab the elbow without surgery.
“It obviously sucks,” Seager told reporters after the news was announced. “Where I was at last season was the right decision to do that and it just didn’t work out the way I was hoping it would.”
The elbow surgery wouldn’t be the last for Seager, as he would undergo arthroscopic hip surgery for a labrum repair. The Dodgers insist the second surgery does nothing to the timeline they set for next season and it’s still possible for Seager to be ready for Opening Day 2019.
The injury led the Dodgers to make the move for Manny Machado in July. The 26-year-old hit .273/.338/.487 with 13 homers and 42 RBI in 66 games for Los Angeles.
Stats: 27-for-101, 5 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 13 R, 11 BB, .267/.348/.396
Game of the year
One of Seager’s six multi-hit games in 2018, the Dodger shortstop doubled twice in a four-hit effort, knocking in three runs for the Dodgers in a 13-4 win over the Padres at Petco Park back on April 18.
Seager has three years, 32 days of major league service time, and will qualify for salary arbitration for the first time this offseason.