GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Corey Seager finished an offseason of rehab and showed up at the Dodgers' Spring Training camp Friday saying he's healthy again and plans to stay that way.Seager, 23, avoided elbow surgery and did enough core work to declare his back healed from the sprain that shelved him
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Corey Seager finished an offseason of rehab and showed up at the Dodgers' Spring Training camp Friday saying he's healthy again and plans to stay that way.
Seager, 23, avoided elbow surgery and did enough core work to declare his back healed from the sprain that shelved him during last year's National League Championship Series and was a likely factor in his .661 World Series OPS.
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Seager said he still needs to take a few more steps to get his throwing game-ready, but said he's confident he will be there by Opening Day.
"The way everything's scheduled, it should be perfectly fine," Seager said.
The Dodgers can only hope, because All-Star shortstops with power like Seager don't fall out of the sky and can't even be found at free-agent camps. Because of his size and tendency to get nicked, there will always be suggestions he will move to third base sooner or later.
But Dodgers management is committed to Seager staying at short. Enrique Hernandez is the backup, manager Dave Roberts said, with Chris Taylor moving in from center field a more dramatic fallback.
"If need be," Roberts said of the Taylor option.
Seager injured his back sliding into second base against Arizona in the NL Division Series. The elbow was of greater concern, as it sidelined him for nearly a week down the stretch and, although the club never gave an injury diagnosis, even Seager left open the possibility of offseason surgery.
Instead, the club went with rest, therapy and a late start (January) to throwing.
"I've still got to throw to bases, get to a certain distance. I've only thrown 100 feet," he said. "Then we'll mix in the games. Tried to strengthen everything around it. For the most part, it's worked. Haven't really tested it too much, but everything's good, though. It was all just rehab stuff. It was nice not to have to do any of that [surgery] stuff. Just the rehab and, hopefully, it works out fine. Right now, no worries with it, obviously got a few steps to go, but for the most part it feels good."
Roberts said he hadn't spoken to the training staff about Seager's throwing program, but the manager said the club again will encourage Seager to reduce his heavy practice workload and reduce his vulnerability to injuries.
"It's something that Corey and I and the medical staff have talked about, as far as the workload," said Roberts. "Corey is a guy that is always trying to find an edge, get better, work. Sometimes there's a little bit of diminishing returns.
"So, just understanding your body. This is his third year. He's had setbacks each year, so maybe back off a little, but I hear he's in great shape. There is a component about backing off the workload. I think his spring setbacks [a knee in 2016, oblique muscle last year] have sort of bled into the regular season."
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.