LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers are "very optimistic" that they will have their All-Star shortstop Corey Seager back for the Fall Classic vs. the Astros.Seager received an epidural injection after injuring his back on a slide in Game 3 of the National League Divison Series presented by T-Mobile. Seager wasn't
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers are "very optimistic" that they will have their All-Star shortstop Corey Seager back for the Fall Classic vs. the Astros.
Seager received an epidural injection after injuring his back on a slide in Game 3 of the National League Divison Series presented by T-Mobile. Seager wasn't able to recover in time and was left off the NL Championship Series roster but the Dodgers still won the NL pennant in five games without the 2016 NL Rookie of the Year.
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Manager Dave Roberts said Seager started hitting off a tee and running curves on the diamond, but has yet to see live pitches in a simulated game setting, which is his biggest hurdle.
"We're going have some pitchers throwing in the next couple of days," Roberts said. "I'm sure he's going to get in there and take some swings and take some ground balls. ... To be able to simulate that game speed against a pitcher will be telling."
There is a possibility Seager could be the Dodgers' designated hitter in Houston for the World Series presented by Youtube TV. But that hinges on Seager's ability to swing the bat and if he isn't "compromised physically." The Dodgers hope to have a better understanding of Seager's status Saturday, following a closed workout at Dodger Stadium.
Roberts said the club has yet to determine if Seager will have trouble fielding grounders or standing in the infield.
"We still have some days until we have to make a decision," Roberts said. "We're certainly optimistic and Corey does not want to be denied."
If Seager isn't able to go, the Dodgers feel confident in his replacements.
Without Seager, Chris Taylor and Charlie Culberson filled in at shortstop. Culberson, who only played in 15 games of the regular season, started three games of the NLCS presented by Camping World and recorded the final out in Game 5 to send the Dodgers to their first World Series in 29 years.
Culberson, known for his defense, went hitless in seven postseason at-bats last year but finished this season's NLCS 5-for-11 (.455) with two doubles and a triple. Taylor started two games at shortstop and mashed two homers to go along with three RBIs and five walks en route to being named NLCS co-MVP with Justin Turner.
"It's a great feeling to know that you have amazing depth and a player of Charlie's character," Roberts said, "And Chris Taylor's character to pick up a guy like Corey Seager, that's not easy to do to replace Corey. If it doesn't go as we expect, it's certainly comforting."
Joshua Thornton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.