With pitchers and catchers reporting this week, baseball is officially back. We’re just over 40 days away from Opening Day, and it’s almost time to start a brand new season.
Corey Seager update
Though the Dodgers had a somewhat quiet off-season, they will be adding one of the best young shortstops in the game to their lineup in 2019.
After missing most of the 2018 season, the Dodgers are optimistic Corey Seager will be ready to go for Opening Day.
Dave Roberts spoke with reporters and gave an update on when we can expect Seager to return. “Corey is running around, I wouldn’t say he’s running at 100 percent, but just seeing the video and talking to trainers, the eye test, he looks really good and looks really strong,” Roberts said. “The arm, I think he’s up to like 90 feet and he’s not throwing across the diamond yet, but we’re tracking for him to be ready Opening Day.”
Seager only played in 24 games in 2018, before undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Additionally, he underwent left hip surgery in August as well.
Asked when Seager is expected to be ready, Roberts said it’s to be determined. “There’s kind of a rough schedule for Corey but obviously it’s kind of going to be on the backfields, kind of take some at-bats, and then as far as hitting to an A-game over here, to start, to play, to get three at-bats, that’s down the road.”
Roberts expects Seager to see around 50-60 at-bats before even playing in a game, but that can change depending on how he feels.
For all the Seager fans out there, he’s officially gone dairy free as well.
Corey Seager has trimmed down considerably since last season. Told me he’s now dairy free & has lost about 25 pounds. He attributes the weight loss to being dairy free & his ability to workout after recovering from two surgeries. Said his strength is there & feels great.— Alanna Rizzo (@alannarizzo) February 13, 2019
Kenley Jansen’s health
Last season was a bit of a scare for Kenley Jansen, as he missed time due to an irregular heartbeat. He underwent heart surgery in the off-season, as well as dropped 25 pounds. Like Seager, Jansen went dairy-free. He also added two workouts a day.
With losing the weight, Jansen hopes it will help his body function better.
He no longer needs to take any blood-thinning medication, though he still wears a heart-monitor underneath his shirt. It checks his heart rate after workouts to make sure everything is good to go.
“I’ve got to prove everybody wrong,” Jansen said to reporters. “That’s all I want to do. I just want to come out here and compete in spring training. Compete like I’m competing for a job instead of having a vacation.”
Starting catching situation
One of the biggest hits the Dodgers took this off-season was the loss of starting catcher Yasmani Grandal. After three consecutive seasons of at least 20 home runs, Grandal signed a one-year contract with the Milwaukee Brewers.
Over the last few months, the Dodgers stayed aggressive in the pursuit of J.T. Realmuto, arguably the best catcher in all of baseball. LA didn’t make a deal, and instead traded for a former friend, Russell Martin.
Martin, now 36, played for the Dodgers from 2006 until 2010. With two starting catchers at the helm in Martin and Austin Barnes, it’s currently unclear as to who will get more starts behind the plate.
“I think it’s a very good duo and I think time will tell,” Roberts said. “So they’re going to split time and we’ll see who gets the lion’s share. But I think that right now, that’s a good complement.”
- Although he’s been moved to the bullpen during the last two postseasons, Dave Roberts said he sees Kenta Maeda as a starting pitcher this season
- If Maeda is a starter, the starting rotation likely will be Kershaw, Buehler, Hill, Ryu and Maeda
- Roberts wants to make sure Cody Bellinger plays every day. He will take reps in right field, center field and first base, but A.J. Pollock is the every day center fielder
- Keibert Ruiz unlikely to appear in MLB this season. Will Smith could see time, but needs to improve offensively
- Staying on Smith, Andrew Friedman had high praise for him. “I think he could contend for a Gold Glove defensively. It’s just about getting him to that point offensively where there’s more consistency that we think is in there.”