While there are no current Dodgers remaining in the postseason, there are still several old friends active for the League Championship Series round, highlighted by a pair of former All-Star shortstops.
The Rangers lead the way in ex-Dodgers among the four teams still alive this postseason, led by shortstop Corey Seager in the second season of his 10-year, $325-million contract with Texas.
Seager had a fantastic season, hitting 42 doubles and 33 home runs with a 1.019 OPS despite playing only 119 games. His dream postseason run in 2020 — winning NLCS MVP and World Series MVP — led the Dodgers to a championship. Seager hit seven home runs in 16 games at Globe Life Field in Arlington, which was then a neutral site for him.
In these playoffs, Seager homered in his only game there, closing out the Orioles in the ALDS last Tuesday. The Rangers are 6-0 to start the postseason, with five of their wins on the road. Through Game 1 of the ALCS, Seager is 7-for-18 this postseason with four extra-base hits and 11 walks.
Josh Sborz pitched in 11 games in 2019-20 with the Dodgers, and now is in his third year in Texas. The 29-year-old right-hander had a 5.50 ERA, 3.35 xERA, and 30.7-percent strikeout rate during the regular season, but has been getting high-leverage outs during the postseason, with 3⅓ scoreless innings in his four games. Sborz got the final two outs in the seventh inning of Game 1.
Nathan Eovaldi starts Game 2 of the ALCS on Monday afternoon for the Rangers, looking to build on his 15 strikeouts, no walks, two runs allowed, and two wins in his two starts so far this October. Eovaldi last pitched for the Dodgers way back in 2012, dealt to Miami that season as part of the Hanley Ramirez trade.
Andrew Heaney, who signed a two-year, $25-million deal with the Rangers last offseason, allowed one run in 3⅔ innings in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Orioles. When he pitches next is TBD, because Max Scherzer is also working his way back after a teres major injury. Scherzer is back on the roster, having last pitched in a game on September 12.
The Rangers are in the ALCS playing the Astros, who technically have no old friends but also have arguably the most impactful ex-Dodger still playing.
Yordan Alvarez was famously signed by the Dodgers out of Cuba in 2016 for $2 million (which came with a $2-million overage tax for how much the Dodgers spent during that international signing period) but traded a month and a half later just after turning 19 before ever playing a game in the Dodgers system. Alvarez was never on the Dodgers’ 40-man roster, and thus doesn’t qualify for old friend status.
The Dodgers in that deal got reliever Josh Fields, who pitched two and a half seasons in LA’s bullpen.
Alvarez struck out three times against Jordan Montgomery in Game 1 of the ALCS but has still been a menace this postseason for Houston, with seven hits in 20 at-bats, including four home runs and two doubles.
In the National League, the Phillies have two former Dodgers, led by shortstop Trea Turner, who signed a $300-million, 11-year contract with Philadelphia in December.
Turner set a major league record this season with 30 stolen bases without getting caught. Turner is on fire this postseason with 12 hits in 24 at-bats in his six games, including four doubles, two home runs, and four stolen bases. In last Thursday’s close-out game against Atlanta in the NLDS, Turner was the first Phillies player ever with four hits in a postseason game.
Craig Kimbrel since giving up a walk-off grand slam to Max Muncy at Dodger Stadium on May 3 had a 2.21 ERA and struck out 34.4 percent of his batters faced. This postseason, Kimbrel has two saves and three scoreless innings in his three appearances.
The D-backs don’t have any former Dodgers on their NLCS roster.