LOS ANGELES -- Prior to Sunday's Game 2 of the National League Championship Series presented by Camping World, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said injured shortstop Corey Seager is improving as he recovers from a sprained lower back. "Corey … says he feels considerably better," said Roberts. "He says he feels 'normal-ish.'
LOS ANGELES -- Prior to Sunday's Game 2 of the National League Championship Series presented by Camping World, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said injured shortstop Corey Seager is improving as he recovers from a sprained lower back.
"Corey … says he feels considerably better," said Roberts. "He says he feels 'normal-ish.' That's, I think, a good thing to hear."
Seager isn't making Monday's team flight to Chicago. Or is he?
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Roberts left much to the imagination when asked about Seager.
"As of now, he's not going to [travel] -- it could change," said Roberts, clearly creating wiggle room. "As of now, he's not making the trip. Nothing baseball today, hopefully tomorrow he can start being active."
Even with a rapid recovery, Seager is likely to require several days to be baseball fit. He hasn't done any baseball activity since Monday night's clincher in Arizona, when he was injured sliding into second base.
"So, there's an argument to keep him here to work out and join us," Roberts said. "Still, there's got to be an injury anyway. We're very mindful of the player and make sure he's ready to go instead of putting him in harm's way."
During the regular season, Seager batted .295/.375/.479 before a 3-for-11 showing with four walks in the NL Division Series presented by T-Mobile. Charlie Culberson took Seager's place on the roster and in the starting lineup for Games 1 and 2. He went 1-for-2 with a double, run scored and game-tying sacrifice fly in Game 1.
Ethier keeps Bellinger humble
A year ago, Cody Bellinger was watching the Dodgers' postseason run from the Arizona Fall League. This year, he's in the thick of it.
"It's been a blessing, for sure," Bellinger said Sunday afternoon. "Yeah, it's been crazy, man. This whole year I've just been kind of trying to soak it in as much as I can."
Bellinger's rookie campaign was nothing short of historic. He set the NL rookie home-run record with 39, and he's the heavy favorite to win the NL Rookie of the Year Award. He entered Sunday's NLCS Game 2 going 3-for-14 this postseason, including a homer in the series-clincher in Arizona last round.
So how has Bellinger managed to stay humble? The Dodgers' veterans have played a big role in that -- particularly Andre Ethier, whose locker is adjacent to Bellinger's in the home clubhouse.
"We have so many veterans on this team that took me in and taught me the ways, starting from Spring Training this year," Bellinger said. "I would say the number one guy for me was Andre Ethier. He goes about it in a different way, but it's awesome having him next to my side."
Ethier's way of mentoring isn't the most orthodox, but it's working nonetheless.
"It's a lot of smack talk," Bellinger said. "He keeps me humble, though, that's for sure. Once you start getting a little confident in a bad way, he'll kind of smack you around and tell you."
Dodgers set workout for Monday
The Dodgers will have a closed voluntary workout at Dodger Stadium on Monday morning, fly to Chicago in the afternoon and will not work out at Wrigley Field, where they last played in mid-April.
"The travel last year was grueling, and just the East to West Coast and all that kind of stuff," Roberts said. "Where this year we've had the off-days and it's kind of been very normal for us being at home. That's been good."
Roberts said pitchers Pedro Baez, Luis Avilan and Brandon McCarthy will throw simulated games so they remain sharp if they need to be added for this series or the World Series presented by YouTube TV.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.