The struggling Los Angeles Dodgers have suffered a major blow.
Monday afternoon, the team announced star shortstop Corey Seager will undergo Tommy John surgery on his right (throwing) elbow and miss the remainder of the season. He's been having elbow trouble dating back to last year and was brought along slowly in spring training because of it.
Seager, 24, was a legitimate MVP candidate from 2016-17, though he got off to a bit of a slow start this season, hitting .267/.348/.396 with two home runs in 26 games. He played both ends of a doubleheader Saturday before missing Sunday's game with what the team called a sore hip flexor.
The Dodgers are already without third baseman Justin Turner, who is out with a broken wrist after being hit by a pitch in spring training. Turner is still a few weeks away from returning. Now they're without Seager as well. Arguably their two best hitters are out of the lineup right now. Yasiel Puig is out with a hip issue as well.
For the time being the Dodgers are likely to use Chris Taylor, a natural shortstop who was playing the outfield in deference to Seager, at short. Utility men Enrique Hernandez and Breyvic Valera are also shortstop candidates. Los Angeles traded Charlie Culberson, Seager's backup the last two years, over the winter.
Here's what SportsLine says about Seager's impact on the Dodgers:
|NL West Odds
Sims with Seager
Sims without Seager
The usual Tommy John surgery rehab timetable for position players is considerably shorter than it is for pitchers, but Seager is still looking at an 8-9 month recovery. Barring a setback, Seager should be healed and ready to go in plenty of time for the start of spring training next year.
One month into the season, the Dodgers are 12-15 with a plus-12 run differential. They sit in fourth place in the NL West and are seven games behind the first place Arizona Diamondbacks. The Dodgers and D-Backs open a four-game series Monday night.