Losing Corey Seager leaves Dodgers’ season on the brink

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With one of the richest, deepest, most efficient organizations in baseball, the Los Angeles Dodgers appeared to be impervious to the yin and yang of baseball cycles. Yet in the wake of Corey Seager’s season-ending arm injury, this team has all the earmarks of a club that might go off the rails.

Seager’s injury could hardly be more ill-timed, for so many reasons. As it was, nfl jerseys from china the Dodgers led the majors in one obscure metric: projected WAR currently on the disabled list. Justin Turner, Rich Hill, Tom Koehler, Yasiel Puig, Julio Urias and Logan Forsythe comprised a group that hardly had room for a player of Seager’s stature.

The news also comes one day after Cody Bellinger, the Dodgers’ rookie of the year first baseman, was pulled from a game by manager Dave Roberts for not hustling on a ball hit into Triples Alley at AT&T Park in San Francisco, though Roberts said his decision had to do with more than that one play. Even before Seager’s injury, frustration verged on boiling over in L.A.

Yet, you figured that they had plenty of time to right the ship. Considering their play into November last fall, a slow start this season perhaps wasn’t surprising. But this is the deepest team. The smartest team. The most unassailable team. Well, they were those things until Monday evening, when the Dodgers’ press release announcing that Seager would be undergoing Tommy John surgery dropped into email in-boxes.64

Seager’s elbow has been an issue since late last season, and there had been some talk last fall that he would undergo surgery to repair the problem. You can’t help but think that would have been the prudent course, though that’s easy to say in hindsight and through the prism of Monday’s news.

The Dodgers’ release flatly states that Seager is out for the season, so that’s that. As a position player, the recovery timeline for Seager should be shorter than it tends to be for pitchers who undergo Tommy John, though of course you can’t take that for granted either.

Seager might be just as irreplaceable for the Dodgers’ position-player group as the loss of Clayton Kershaw would be to the pitching staff. Seager’s 12 WAR since coming into the majors ranks fourth among baseball’s group of historically good young shortstops. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, with Seager in the lineup during that span, the Dodgers have a .604 winning percentage and have averaged 4.7 runs per game. In 43 games without Seager, L.A.’s winning percentage sinks to .488 and the runs average to 4.1.

In the short term, the Dodgers will have to shuffle their position-player deck to cover for Seager’s absence. Center fielder Chris Taylor and utility player Enrique Hernandez figure to split time at short. Doing so has a cascading effect on Roberts’ lineups, with Taylor having become entrenched in the outfield. Joc Pederson could play more in center, and prospect Alex Verdugo, recently called up because of Puig’s ankle injury, could remain on the big league roster to play on the outfield corners.