Rangers roll despite Seager's early exit

June 6th, 2024

ARLINGTON -- Just as things were looking up for the Rangers on the injury front, another one has occurred.

Rangers shortstop pulled up short of first base after an RBI single in the second inning of the Rangers’ series finale against the Tigers at Globe Life Field with left hamstring tightness.

Trainers and manager Bruce Bochy quickly went out to check on Seager and he was replaced by utility man Ezequiel Duran shortly afterwards.

I felt a little twinge," Seager said postgame.

The Rangers would go on to win, 9-1, without Seager thanks to 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball from starter José Ureña and some timely hitting, but the loss of the club’s best hitter still looms large. Though the Texas offense hasn’t been hitting on all cylinders, the superstar shortstop was slashing .271/.360/.472 after his second-inning single on Wednesday.

“We’re just being cautious there,” Bochy said. “We’ll see where we're at after the day off [on Thursday]. We don't think it’s anything serious, but we just wanted to get him off his legs. Come Friday, we'll see where we're at with Corey. He might need another day. We don't know yet.”

There is no immediate plan for Seager to get an MRI, but things could change.

The four-time All-Star missed 31 games in 2023 with a left hamstring strain. He also missed about a month in 2019, from June 13-July 10, with a left hamstring strain when he was with the Dodgers.

Seager missed all but the final three games of Spring Training after offseason surgery to repair a sports hernia.

After a slow start in 2024, in which the World Series MVP hit just .208 and slugged .292 in April, Seager has looked every bit like himself since the calendar turned to May. He slashed .287/.387/.660 and was riding a career-best 28-game on-base streak at the time of the injury.

“I’m fine,” Seager said. “We’ll see how the next couple of days go, and just kind of go from there. … Hopefully in the next couple days, I’ll feel better and we can just reassess.”

If Seager needs more time off or days to DH, the Rangers have a tried-and-true plan.

When Seager missed time with two separate injuries last season, Duran and Josh Smith split time at shortstop, while Marcus Semien -- a career shortstop before 2021 with the Blue Jays -- remained at second base.

Smith has mainly been filling in for the injured Josh Jung at third base this season and has done so admirably with a .290/.377/.440 line in 60 games following a 3-for-4 day at the plate on Wednesday. He’s logged career highs in hits (56), runs (30), doubles (15) and RBIs (24) this season.

Duran has hit .270 this year, while appearing in games at shortstop (2), third base (9), second base (2), first base (10), left field (12), right field (1) and designated hitter (5). He reached base twice after relieving Seager on Wednesday.