Already in possession of the majors’ best record, the 60-32 Dodgers will get a pair of familiar reinforcements back when the second half of the season begins. Shortstop Corey Seager and center fielder A.J. Pollock will return from the injured list Friday, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register tweets.
Seager suffered a serious left hamstring strain June 12, guaranteeing him a second straight injury-marred season. The 25-year-old missed most of 2018 after undergoing Tommy John surgery in May, but Seager impressed in his return this season prior to his IL stint. So far, the former NL Rookie of the Year has slashed .278/.359/.468 (119 wRC+) with eight home runs and 2.0 fWAR in 270 plate appearances.
Seager was truly heating up in the days before his injury, making his absence that much more unfortunate for him and the Dodgers. But the depth-laden team more than weathered Seager’s injury, as it’s known to do when key players go down. Seager’s primary replacement, Chris Taylor, helped keep the train rolling over the past few weeks.
Taylor has also seen some action at center fielder in place of Pollock, who hasn’t played since April 28 because of surgery on his troublesome right elbow. It was rookie Alex Verdugo who saw the lion’s share of time in center when Pollock was out, though. Verdugo, like many other Dodgers, has turned in praiseworthy production this season. Pollock has been one of the few exceptions, which isn’t what Los Angeles expected when it signed him to a $60MM guarantee in free agency. The oft-injured 31-year-old – perhaps owing in part to his elbow problems – hit a meek .223/.287/.330 (64 wRC+) with two HRs across 115 PA before going under the knife.
Despite his struggles earlier this year, Pollock’s track record indicates he’ll give the Dodgers no fewer than five starting-caliber outfielders upon his return. They already have Verdugo, NL MVP candidate Cody Bellinger and Joc Pederson in leading roles, while the versatile Taylor can also handle himself in the grass.