Dodgers Have Limited Options To Backup Corey Seager

Corey Seager

I always like to keep an optimistic outlook, but prepare for the worst. Perhaps that’s what the Dodgers are doing with wonder kid Corey Seager’s latest oblique injury. The club has so many injuries from day-to-day that it can be hard to diagnose or determine timelines for return. Initially Seager’s injury was considered mild mid-back soreness. Now the Dodgers have reported that the injury is actually mild oblique tightness, which is far worse than just a sore back.

Seager is still not playing, however he is working out. The Dodgers are uncertain about when he will return, but time is running out for him to get enough at-bats to be ready for opening day. The start of the regular season is just a few weeks away and Seager has hardly played at all this spring.

The scarier thought is what the Dodgers do if Seager is not ready to go by opening day on April 3. What’s the backup plan here? The backup plan absolutely can’t be Mendoza line hitting Kike Hernandez who is just terrible at hitting baseballs. He’s equally terrible at playing shortstop as well, although he’s one of the few guys in camp who can man the position.

Manager Dave Roberts has told the media that he is unconcerned about it and that Seager will be back in action soon. I believe he said “there’s no panic”. Somehow that doesn’t comfort me. Maybe the Dodgers should start thinking about a backup plan in case he isn’t able to play when the season starts. Although I am sure they already are.

Obviously Kike can’t be the solution here. So who else can play shortstop? Chris Taylor started at the position on Saturday afternoon during the Dodger’s 8-2 victory over the Angels. Taylor was 2 for 2 on Saturday with a double and a triple. He’s having a great spring thus far, batting .421.

Taylor is an option, although his offensive track record (.234 .598 career BA, OPS) is less than stellar. Charlie Culberson is another option. I like him, but he’s not hitting much this spring. He’s batting .222 (6 for 27) this spring. But he hit .299 last year including his division clinching home run against Colorado. He’s a terrific defensive player, but despite my affinity for him I admit that he’s not much of a hitter either.

So who else can play shortstop? Utility man Rob Segedin has had a solid spring, but he can’t play shortstop. In fact he’s never played there in his entire professional career. Chase Utley has never played there either. Logan Forsythe has only played 19 career games at shortstop. I don’t see anyone else on the 40-man roster or in camp that can play shortstop. The only other option would be farmhand Darnell Sweeney who has played 199 minor league games at the position. This could be a big problem if Seager has to miss any significant time.

The Dodgers have to have someone on the roster that can backup Seager at shortstop anyways. It would seem that there are three choices; Hernandez, Culberson, or Chris Taylor. None of them are ideal. My pick is still Culberson for his superior defense. However Culberson is not on the 40-man roster.

Please get well soon Corey. Because if I have to watch Kike Hernandez on opening day I may become violently ill.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda's Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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41 thoughts on “Dodgers Have Limited Options To Backup Corey Seager

  1. Make that two on the violently ill train, yes Corey, get well very soon, I think he will be in the Opening Day lineup, fingers crossed

  2. I prefer Taylor over Culbertson as SS backup.

    Maybe cosmic karma requires Seager to be out a few weeks, in order to grant us career high WAR seasons from Puig and Pederson and a fully healthy Rui for the second half.

    I saw that Yaisel Sierra put up 2 zeros again, and Calhoun (2-2) did not make an out again.

  3. I think signing Utley was a bad move because it takes up a much needed roster space. Trading Utley now would allow us to carry Taylor as a more capable infield backup. Anybody note Washington put Derek Norris on waivers? If nobody makes a trade offer, and they won’t, he will be released. The scenario will have to play out that way because if anyone traded for him, they would be responsible for the remaining $3.5MM of his arbitration designated salary. But if they wait until Washington releases him, Washington will only have to pay him $700K, he becomes a free agent and other clubs can sign him cheap. I can’t help feeling he’d help us a lot more this year than that kid Barnes. Also remember Roberts was with him in San Diego, so he is in a position to know if he has value or not.

    1. Jonah

      I think they made a big move to give Barnes a try this year, so I don’t see them picking Norris up, but you never know, because he played for the A’s at one time, and that seems to be one of there prerequisites, unfortunately.

      I read that thread you listed on Toles, and it is refreshing to hear that Toles is a hard working kid, that knows what it is about.

      1. Jonah makes an interesting point. Two of them actually. Utley can play every infield position but short. I don’t believe having Seager out for anything other than the occasional day off was included in the curriculum development plan. And I would think Norris as backup catcher would interest any team. That said, Barnes has done everything asked of him. He’s now 27, amazingly only a year younger than Norris. I think FAZ will stick with him. Will they stick with the others they picked up in trades and haven’t seen much from since doing so? As we used to say in the military- stand by to stand by.

        1. Badger

          I didn’t realize that that Barnes, and Norris, were so close in age.

          They have to give Barnes this chance, because of his age.

          And about the players they traded for, we will soon find out, if they are finally, going to give Hatcher, is walking papers, this time.

  4. I haven’t seen Sierra pitch in a game yet. For those that have, how does he look? The stats look good, and look wayyyyyyy better than they did last year in the minors.

    Perhaps he’s not a bust yet?

    1. Perhaps. One has to wonder what it was that FAZinated management about this guy. His last year in Cuba he kinda sucked:

      http://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=sierra000yai

      He’s 25 now. Time to get it together. Same with Barnes. 6 years in the minors after 3 at Arizona State. And a slash line of .299/.388/.439 in over 2500 plate appearances in pro ball tells me he has nothing more to do in the minor leagues. This is his year to be on the ML roster no matter what he does in Spring Training.

    2. Kid has looked really good both times I have seen him, and he has some nasty stuff. He could make an impact real soon. Another impressive guy has been Spitzbarth. I think he has really opened some eyes. As for the vets, Morrow looks a lot better than Hatcher, who still can’t get anybody out. Avilan looked good yesterday, Kenley was working on some things, so I put no credence in the run scored against him. As for SS, right now Taylor is showing the most out there, and the kid has a great glove. Kike is playing his way right off the team. Culberson is a gamer, and in my mind hitting in bad luck because he has hit some atem balls.

  5. It’s almost as though most MLB pitchers only have so many pitch’s in their arms before they break down, that being said, why waste them in the Minor leagues? If Ryu or whoever else are getting guys out maybe they should pitch until they break at the big league level?

    1. Money there Melton. It is all about protecting your investment, and why ruin someone before you get any value out of them. Koufax pitched his last 4 years with a ton of pain. If the has todays medicine back then, he might have pitched 4 more years. Ryu is a guy who had success, but the last 2 years he could not have gotten me out. He needed the time to re-hab. Urias is a kid. They do not want to blow out the kids arm. So they are bringing him along slow. Washington did the same with Strasburg when he first came up. He still came down with arm trouble. But they at least have gotten some use out of the guy. If you have ever thrown a baseball, you know it is not a natural act. The torque on your arm when you throw as hard as these guys do it is amazing they last any time at all. Nolan Ryan was an anomaly. A power pitcher pitching for that many years and still having a plus fastball? Amazing. Most make adjustments, Ryu is doing that now. I doubt he will ever have that mid 90’s fastball again.

  6. You know, I played center field. I never told anyone at the time, but as I got older it hurt every time I had to heave it. Pitchers just amaze me. My point however is that pitches are pitches. Kind of like the countdown begins at the first pitch no matter what league

    1. I pitched, played 1st base and the outfield. I actually ruined my arm when I was 11. There was no fence where we played, and a guy hit a ball that I had to chase in CF, when I got to the ball, I turned, saw him rounding 2nd and heaved the thing towards home. I nailed him by 3 feet, but my arm hurt like hell. I never said nothing, but what ever speed I had on the ball was gone after that. Breaking news……….Dodgers shut down Brock Stewart with arm tendinitis. He will be shut down at least a week……where have we heard that before……and the injury’s keep coming.

    1. Unfortunately the FO and the owners do not feel that way. It is their money and they are not going to risk losing someone who is costing them that much cash. Look at it this way. Drysdale was done at age 33, Koufax at 32. They got their moneys worth out of those two guys, but they were getting peanuts compared to what they pay today. And there are only so many spots. We have enough walking wounded on this team as it is. We as fans look at it a lot differently than they do. And trust me, their agents and the union would go ballistic if they just run someone out there until they break down. Never underestimate the players union.

  7. I wonder if part of the criteria should include how many projected pitches are in a particular guy’s arm.
    The scouts do mention repeatable motion, but maybe they can project further somehow… A sort of DNA test
    If a guy projects to 10,000 big league pitches, again, why waste them? It’s all he’s got anyways

    1. Can’t be done, Melton. Top ten draft choices fail every year, some not rising above A ball. And how many people knew what a workhorse Pedro Martinez was. In spite of the bragging and bullshit, coaches and talent evaluators have only a little better chance to predict the future than you or I. Man for sure has his limitations. That why I consider talking about the players etc, is a colossal waste of time. Enjoy the actual game, get on with the business of life until the next one.

        1. I read an article about the death of chess, it had to do with computer chess. It was disturbing because 1. I grew up playing chess and 2. How the future of other sports might look.
          In baseball I think only pitching might possibly be measured by a computer program.
          Just thinking…..
          I do like the idea of a combine
          Possibly something the owners should push for

        1. I really couldn’t say because I have no experience with them. There are other companies offering the same protection. See if you can find any online reviews for whatever company you choose.

          1. Jonah

            I have lookout on here, but I still got a virus.

            That is why I was wondering.

            To down load the site Scott talked about, I have to join that new Google.

            I had the original google, on my phone, when I got it.

            But I have heard bad things, about that new Google, so I haven’t joined that yet.

            The same pop ups, that the virus came from, is poping up here, anytime I come to this site, but no where else.

            These pop ups, have changed there names, from something about a radio, then Hula, then gin rummy, and there is a new name, coming up, that I think is star now.

            I have been just really careful, to touch that little x to make the thing disappear, so I don’t get the virus, again.

            I am going to try to load that one, you gave the thread to, later tonight.

            I even changed my phone, to not allow any cookies, but it didn’t work.

  8. I wasn’t allowed to correct my post, if I wanted to, on this last post I just made either.

    I wonder if that thing is causing it.

    It wasn’t star it said live. something, on its latest appearance.

    1. It’s happening to me too. It’s called BidVertiser and I find it insidious. It’s only here as far as I can tell. I don’t know how serious it is but google it and malware enters the conversation.

    2. I only use my phone for telephone calls. I ‘surf’ only on my computer, I have a couple of free ant-virus programs plus what comes with windows. I use the Chrome browser with AdBlockerPlus and that blocks all popup ads. Bite the bullet and get a windows computer, you can get one on Ebay or at a local used computer store for around $200.. It will open your world…
      Badger, if you’re using a Windows computer, try the Chrome browser with the AdBlockerPlus extension. No ads.

      1. Jonah

        I think Badger is using a IPad, not a phone.

        It is only on here, Scott needs to do something, because it is scaring people away.

        1. It does let you correct any errors, it is a pop up that says Tune in Radio, right now.

          And it can be a pop up Gin Rummy, Live something.

          It changes names.

          Scott or Oscar, there is a virus on here, other people have had it come up, and it is only on here, for everyone.

          It is in the pop ups, I said above.

          You are losing people because of this.

          1. I love you guys I really do but you’re all super bad with tech stuff. I think you’re talking about the add at the bottom of your screen? I’m not getting any popup adds so I’m assuming you’re talking about that one. For the life of me I don’t know why anyone is clicking on it but it’s not a virus. Seriously you guys are hilarious. I’ll check the code and see if I can kill it but relax they’re are no viruses here. No malware either. It’s just an add at the bottom of your display.

  9. Taylor at SS in the night cap. Walk and a single so far. Wilson a 2 run dinger. Kersh went 4 innings against the Royals earlier, gave up a first inning homer and that was it.

  10. Good experience for Verdugo. Real good prospect. A veritable pipeline I tell ya.

    Bummer about the bugs on this site. thanks for tips, Sylvester

    1. Rye

      Did you have problems with these pop ups that say radio, hula, gin rummy, and I can’t think of the other one?

      I have been avoiding them by being careful, after I accidentally hit one, to get a virus.

      They are still here.

        1. This should work for Badger too… (all of a sudden I want to call you Beagle for some unknown reason… He was a retired Master Sergeant with some experience in the Phoenix Program in Viet Nam, 1960s. And he had photos to prove it. He was a frequent poster on a blog I followed every day back then, 10-12 years ago. Haven’t thought of him in years and now the name pops into my head every time I think of you..)

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