LOS ANGELES — While the signing of A.J. Pollock was the big news last Saturday, two key components of the 2019 Dodgers were also at Fan Fest. Corey Seager and Kenley Jansen each had surgeries to recover from and both were there to celebrate the upcoming season.
Corey Seager reported that he felt “good, finally starting to do everything and move around.” When asked about his arm, he said that he could do “pretty much everything, the only thing I haven’t really done is take ground balls and throw them across the field.”
As for hitting, Seager said that the only thing that remains is to hit against live batting practice pitching.
He’s been doing all the running, cutting the bases, so he feels that is on track.
“Right now, everything is on line to kind of be able to make a decision on whether I will be ready to go [for Opening Day] or not,” Seager said, “but for the most part I feel great and everything is on time and haven’t had any setbacks.”
Andrew Friedman also said on Saturday that “it will take until we get into Spring Training and ramp [Seager] up, on how he’s bouncing back and we expect him to be full go on Opening Day but we are also prepared for if we have to kind of ease him in back.”
Seager said it was difficult to be a spectator during the World Series. “Not that you feel in the way, but you want to help,” Seager said, “you remember what it was like last year, you remember the mindset. Knowing the mindset, you kind of try to stay away unless somebody asks for help or there was somewhere you saw you could help. It is difficult, it is hard watching and not being able to have any impact and that was probably the toughest thing for me.”
One thing that never came up during his recovery was floating the idea of a position change. And that was something Seager really appreciated.
“It was kind always of one those things that coming up that you never know if it was going to happen,” Seager said, “and then after having surgeries, they were confident enough to know that you still can play there, and that’s a respectful thing, it’s nice to hear and it’s one of those things that makes you feel comfortable and confident about coming back.
Seager said that the arbitration process was very uncertain because he missed the third year. “I didn’t really know how it was going to go and how much impact it was going to be on it,” Seager said, “so it was just kind of a learning process, I think it would have been a learning process whether you got hurt or not, it was just kind of a new experience and happy to get through it once.”
Kenley Jansen feels great after his surgery
Last November, Kenley Jansen had ablation surgery and soon after, he began working out. He also dropped 25 pounds and he said he has not been at this weight since 2012.
“I was on ‘Kenley Jansen diet,’ I worked out twice a day, in the morning and at night.” He also said he is no longer on any medication.
Jansen also said that there were no restrictions on him traveling to Colorado, he just needs to make sure he stays hydrated. That is the number one thing his doctor told him.
Jansen threw his first bullpen last Thursday. He also laughed while saying that his plan this Spring Training is “definitely pitch.” “I am going to get myself ready, throw as much innings as I need to get ready.”
“I’m not happy at all with the year that I had last year,” Jansen said, “that’s another motivation for me too, to push myself, every year you want to get better.” “As long as I play this game, I want to be better every time I get on that mound.”
When asked about his velocity, Jansen said I am not going to focus on that. He feels that if you focus on that, you can get bad habits. “You want to make sure your mechanics and everything is in place, then you worry about the velocity.”
“Kenley had a big unfortunate wake up call with the heart, so we took care of that with the surgery,” Roberts said, “he’s in fantastic shape.” “You sort of worry about if you lose weight, do you lose strength and velocity but he’s said he feels just as strong as he ever had.”
“I think with Kenley, it is not always the velocity, it’s the late movement and so whether he’s throwing 94 or 90 and it’s straight, he’s a different pitcher when he’s throwing 90, 94 with that late cut.”