Banged-up Seager rests his sore back
Corey Seager did not take part in the Dodgers’ workout Thursday as he rested his sore back. Seager, the two-time All-Star shortstop, tweaked his back while sliding into a base during Game 3 of the National League division series on Monday, manager Dave Roberts said.
“He’s worked so much, and we wanted to just kind of keep him off his feet,” Roberts said. “It’s not a concern.”
The Dodgers expect Seager to start Saturday against the Chicago Cubs in Game 1 of the NL Championship Series. The health and readiness of Seager has been a constant topic of discussion for the Dodgers this season. Seager missed nearly two weeks late in the season as he rested his sore right elbow.
The inflammation in the joint could require offseason surgery, and Seager has learned to accept the pain that accompanies each throw.
Despite the discomfort, Seager unveiled enough arm strength to survive as the playoffs approached. His hitting also picked up at an opportune time. After struggling in September, Seager aided the offense throughout the sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Seager got on base at a .467 clip, scored three runs and drove in two others.
The Dodgers have tried to cut back on Seager’s workload in 2017 to keep his body fresh for October. At this time of year, with a four-day break between games, the team saw little incentive in risking more damage to Seager’s back. “It’s day to day,” Roberts said. “There’s no real reason to get him out here right now, if we don’t need to. And also, it’ll help his elbow too.”
Wood will pitch Game 4
Roberts filled in another piece of his starting rotation, announcing Alex Wood as the Game 4 starter. With Clayton Kershaw set for Game 1, the Dodgers have not determined how to line up Rich Hill and Yu Dar vish for the second and third games.
The Dodgers started Hill at home against Arizona and Darvish on the road. The team could shift Darvish to Game 2, as they have fewer concerns about Hill pitching at Wrigley Field, compared to Arizona’s Chase Field.
Avilan ready, if needed
Luis Avilan, a left-handed reliever, threw 20 pitches in a simulated game Wednesday and reported no discomfort in his left shoulder, which had kept him out of the NLDS due to lingering soreness.
“Everything felt good,” Avilan said. “I feel good to go.”
The Dodgers have not determined if Avilan will be added to the 25-man roster for the coming series.
His absence made it easier for the Dodgers to put Pedro Baez on the roster in the first round. Baez posted a 2.95 earned-run average in 2017, with a 10.38 ERA in September. Avilan finished the season with a 2.93 ERA.
Catcher Austin Barnes was removed from Thursday’s simulated game after getting hit below the belt with a foul ball. He was hit in a similar area in the final week of the regular season.
COREY SEAGER TWEAKED his back while sliding during Game 3, but manager Dave Roberts said, “It’s not a concern.”