Dan's Dugout: Diving Dodgers to Deal for Shortstop Soon • Latino Sports


Dan’s Dugout: Diving Dodgers to Deal for Shortstop Soon


For the defending National League champions, the status of the 2018 season has gone from disappointing to desperate.

That’s because All-Star shortstop Corey Seager learned Monday he will need Tommy John surgery that could keep him sidelined well into the 2019 season.

Corey Seager won’t be making throws from shortstop until 2019

That loss, coupled with the the fractured wrist that has kept Justin Turner from taking his position at third base, explains why the Los Angeles Dodgers are experiencing a lost season.

And we won’t even talk about the troubles of struggling starter Alex Wood, who went winless in April after posting a 16-3 season last year, or closer Kenley Jansen, who can’t keep the ball from flying out of the park whenever he pitches.

Stud southpaw starter Clayton Kershaw, eligible to abandon his contract for free agency this fall, probably wishes October would get here sooner.

Losing Seager hurts the most. Just two years ago, the 6’4″ lefthanded hitter came within a whisker of becoming the first National Leaguer to be Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year in the same season. He added another 22 homers last year, helping the Dodgers come within a whisker of a world championship.

Seager submitted to an MRI in Phoenix after elbow pain resulted in several bad throws over the weekend. Typical recovery time from Tommy John surgery is 12 to 18 months.

Cory Seager’s injury is the latest setback for the skidding Dodgers

Seager’s will be performed Friday.

By then, the Dodgers could have a new shortstop.

Although versatile Chris Taylor will move from center field to shortstop for now, stalled trade talks for Baltimore superstar Manny Machado, a three-time All-Star who’s a prospective free agent, could heat up. The Orioles are willing to deal their best player because they are so far behind in the American League East that the job security of manager Buck Showalter, in the last year of his contract, is shakier than the ground under Southern California.

For the short term, the Dodgers could bring back Charlie Culberson, an unlikely World Series hero whose roster spot in Atlanta will disappear this week when the Braves promote Jose Bautista to play third base.

Jose Reyes could plug the shortstop hole in L.A.

Other potential acquisitions include Mets utilityman Jose Reyes, a 35-year-old switch-hitter known for his speed; rising Cubs star Javy Baez, who’s 10 years younger; and J.J. Hardy, who hit at least 25 homers three times but went unsigned in the frigid free agent season that just passed. Reyes was a long-time regular for the Mets but now sits fourth in line at short behind Amed Rosario, Wilmer Flores, and Asdrubel Cabrera.

The Dodgers finished April with a 12-16 record that left them eight games behind the streaking Arizona Diamondbacks, who beat them Monday night. The team is wealthy but doesn’t want to waste money but doesn’t wish to exceed the $197 million payroll plateau that would result in a hefty luxury tax. Adding Machado would do exactly that.

On the other hand, taking the No. 2 and No. 3 hitters out of any lineup would certainly impose a severe hardship on that club.

Seager, who injured a knee in 2016 and his back last year, was held back during spring training because of the balky elbow. It was only a matter of time before the pain became intolerable.

The Dodgers will miss their All-Star shortstop

The brittle infielder missed a playoff series last fall but returned for the World Series against the Houston Astros. Now he will miss the rest of this season, leaving him with a .267 batting average that is far below the .305 mark he took into the campaign.

Brother Kyle Seager, who is six years older, has played third base for the Seattle Mariners since 2011.


About Dan Schlossberg

Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ has produced 35 baseball books, including autobiographies of Ron Blomberg, Al Clark, and Milo Hamilton. Also a broadcaster, he is the host and executive producer of Braves Banter and Travel Itch Radio and a contributor to Sirius XM.

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