5:50pm: Seager told reporters on Saturday that he will not play in the NLCS. He’s dealing with “a lot of tightness” in his back and is “not really mobile,” and is “hoping” he’ll be able to return should the Dodgers advance to the World Series. It’s possible Seager will start baseball activities next week (Twitter links via Bill Shaikin and Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times).
4:04pm: Seager received an epidural injection after suffering a lower back sprain, Roberts told reporters (including J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group). Seager suffered the injury during a slide into second base in the first inning of Game 3 of the NLDS and he “hasn’t hit, hasn’t moved around” in terms of baserunning since, Roberts said. The shortstop is considered day-to-day for now, and Roberts didn’t rule out the possibility of Seager being added to the roster later in the series (though this would require another player going on the DL and thus subsequently being inactive for the World Series).
1:11pm: Star shortstop Corey Seager wasn’t included on the Dodgers’ 25-man roster for the National League Championship Series, as revealed today when the Dodgers announced their roster. Los Angeles made two changes from its NLDS roster, with Seager and righty Pedro Baez omitted in favor of outfielder Joc Pederson and utilityman Charlie Culberson.
Seager missed the last two days of team workouts due to a bad back, and the injury is apparently severe enough that the Dodgers didn’t feel comfortable activating him even for a critical playoff series. Manager Dave Roberts described Seager’s problem as a “muscular issue” to MLB.com’s Joshua Thornton and other reporters yesterday, and while Roberts expressed confidence at the time that Seager would be in the Game 1 lineup, the shortstop’s absence could indicate a turn for the worse, or perhaps just extreme caution on the team’s part.
Seager could still appear in the NLCS if another Dodger were to hit the DL during the best-of-seven set with the Cubs. Seager also would’ve been ineligible for the World Series if he’d been removed from the NLCS roster due to injury, as Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register points out on Twitter. Assuming Seager’s back problems don’t continue, deactivating him now preserves his status for the Fall Classic.
Of course, the Dodgers now face a tougher path to the Series without Seager in the fold. After winning Rookie Of The Year honors in 2016, Seager enjoyed a big sophomore season, hitting .295/.375/.479 and 22 homers over 613 PA. These numbers were posted despite battling elbow problems late in the year, and as Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times recently reported, Seager and Dodgers management haven’t always seen eye-to-eye when it comes to playing through pain, as Seager is loath to take time off.
Chris Taylor and Enrique Hernandez are the likeliest candidates to fill the starting shortstop role throughout the NLCS, with Logan Forsythe and Culberson also possibilities. Pederson’s inclusion on the roster gives the Dodgers an additional left-handed bat and more outfield depth, which would allow Taylor or Hernandez to move into infield duty. If Forsythe plays short, Chase Utley could step in at second base, though this scenario would only be deployed with a right-handed pitcher on the mound.