The Los Angeles Dodgers have announced that shortstop Corey Seager will be out for the rest of the season with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right arm, an injury that will further lengthen the team’s chances of making a World Series run.
Seager will undergo Tommy John surgery on Friday to repair the ligament. According to Seager, it was only in the past few days that his elbow started to bother him.
“This weekend I had a few bad throws that really irritated me,” Seager told reporters. “It was hurting worse, but I couldn’t tell if that was just from how recent it was. You obviously don’t hope for what it turned out to be, but I was hoping for inflammation.”
So far this season, Seager was batting .267 with two home runs and 13 RBI. The 24-year-old won the NL Rookie of the Year award in 2016, and has been an All-Star each of the last two years.
Dodgers Struggle to Recapture 2017 Magic
The injury is another blow for a struggling Dodgers team that came into the year as one of the favorites to win the World Series. Los Angeles is off to a slow start with a 12-16 record that puts them eight games back of the Arizona Diamondbacks (20-8) in the NL West.
That dominating position has already made Arizona (8/11) the favorite to win the division at Ladbrokes. The Dodgers (2/1) are far from being written off, however, largely because of their talented roster and the fact that they went 104-58 last season, posting the best record in the majors.
With Seager out of the lineup, the Dodgers will move Chris Taylor in from the outfield to become their primary shortstop. Kike Hernandez, who has served as more of a utility role so far this season, will move into Taylor’s former outfield role.
But while both Taylor and Hernnadez are capable offensive players, it is unlikely that they’ll match the production of Seager, one of the game’s best offensive shortstops.
Machado to Los Angeles?
That means that if the Dodgers plan on making a World Series run this year, they might want to find a more permanent replacement at shortstop. That has led to speculation that Los Angeles could look to make a trade for Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado.
The Orioles (8-20) are already effectively out of contention this season and have been looking to deal Machado since the offseason. Machado is hitting .361 with nine home runs early in the season. He has also hit at least 30 homers in each of the past three seasons, establishing himself as one of the league’s premier hitters.
The Dodgers are the obvious landing spot for Machado given their need at the shortstop position. But the Orioles may not be looking to trade him this early in the season, even given their terrible start. They also won’t give away their most valuable asset cheaply: Los Angeles would likely have to part ways with young prospects who are ready to contribute on the major league level in the near future.
The Dodgers were once among the co-favorites to win the World Series, but have drifted to 12/1 odds to become MLB champions this year. The Houston Astros (11/2) remain the top pick to win a title this season, ahead of the New York Yankees (13/2) and Boston Red Sox (13/2).