Seager proclaimed himself free of discomfort and said he has had no setbacks during his throwing program during spring training, which has been purposely methodical after a season of rest and rehab following elbow discomfort that plagued the end of his 2017 season.
“It’s more of a marker for the training staff,” manager Dave Roberts said. “I think for Corey he feels good and feels like there are no problems. It’s as we’ve said all along, we’ve slow played it.”
Seager was one of more than two dozen Dodgers sidelined by the virus that ran through the clubhouse earlier in camp, which set him back about a week. He said he would have already played shortstop by now had it not been for that illness. So far to date Seager has played in eight Cactus League games, all at designated hitter.
“I wasn’t really worried about [testing the elbow], I was more worried about getting into some games and getting into the flow of things,” Seager said. “It was nice to be in the flow of a game and not just the DH.”
He batted four times in the B game and homered in his first at-bat. Seager got two chances at shortstop and bobbled one, but threw both runners out with no issues.
For now the plan is for Seager to play seven innings at shortstop on Wednesday, though whether that’s in a minor league game or in the major league game against the Rockies is unknown.
“They haven’t decided yet,” Seager said. “It’s up to them.”
Whether the elbow continues to pose a problem for Seager during the season remains to be seen, but for now that is out of sight, out of mind.
“There is nothing telling me otherwise,” Seager said. “I don’t want to start thinking if and when or whatever.”
Late in 2017 Roberts said the elbow soreness was something Seager had to manage and play through.
“We feel that we’re doing everything we can. The soreness is out of there. The arm strength is there. Now it’s just on the day-in, day-out play,” Roberts said. “If there’s an awkward throw that he has to make is there pain that comes back or is that something that’s in the past?”
Giving more off days might help if the elbow becomes a problem again, though Seager made it clear he does not want any extra time off. He started 149 games as a rookie in 2016, but was down to 135 starts in 2017. The Dodgers have five scheduled off days in the first 29 days of the season, including no Thursday games in April.
“Early on we’re getting some off days so that’s probably not going to come into play early, but we’ll kind of manage him week to week,” Roberts said.
Dodgers vs. Brewers
Time: 1:05 p.m. PT
Location: Camelback Ranch
Radio: none (Brewers broadcast available through MLB Gameday Audio)