SAN DIEGO — Corey Seager has a mini three-game hitting streak heading into Wednesday night’s series finale against the Padres, including three hits in the first two games at Petco Park. It has been a welcome relief for the Dodgers shortstop, who is off to a slow start to 2018.
Seager is hitting just .212/.278/.273 through 15 games this season with one home run and one double.
“Corey’s an aggressive hitter. There is something to swinging at strikes, but there’s another layer where you’re swinging at strikes the pitcher wants you to put in play,” manager Dave Roberts said Monday. “If you look at this year a lot of the balls he’s put in play a lot have been down and away, tough pitches to do any damage with.”
Among Dodgers regulars Seager’s 90.7-mph average exit velocity trails only Yasiel Puig (92.9), and his expected weighted on-base average of .382 is a far cry from his actual .242 wOBA, the worst difference on the team.
In this series Seager has hit balls 111.8 mph off the bat (a lineout to right field), 109.1 mph (another line drive to right field that was scored a three-base error; the Dodgers have filed a request with MLB to change the scoring to a triple — this happens rather often across the league — though that is unlikely), 98.8 mph (double to right), 97.2 mph (fly out to center) and 95.2 mph (ground ball single).
Seager is averaging 3.83 pitches per plate appearance this season, pretty much in line with his 3.70 career mark. His swing rates are also within range of his career numbers, perhaps tilted toward less chasing balls outside the strike zone (25.5% swing rate this year vs. 30.4% career).
“He’s being a little more selective in terms of in zone and out of the zone, but there’s still that other layer of hitting quality strikes,” Roberts said. “He’s a guy that if he’s struggling a little bit, he likes to swing his way out of it.”
Seager has swung at 21 of the 38 pitches he has seen so far in this series.
Seager is 7-for-18 (.389) against Padres starter Luis Perdomo, though with no extra-base hits.
Time: 7:10 p.m. PT
TV: SportsNet LA