MAY 16, 2:07 pm: Fortunately, Seager will not require surgery, Roberts announced this afternoon (via Fabian Ardaya of the Athletic). His specific timetable for a potential return remains unclear, although he will miss at least a month, per Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times. In the interim, Gavin Lux will be Los Angeles’ primary shortstop. Seager fractured the fifth metacarpal in his right hand, Roberts said (via Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register). The Dodgers are recalling catcher Keibert Ruiz to take his place on the active roster.
MAY 16, 1:21 am: X-rays revealed a fractured right hand for Seager, manager Dave Roberts told MLB.com’s Juan Toribio and other reporters post-game. Seager will be placed on the 10-day IL prior to Sunday’s game, and the timetable for his return isn’t yet clear.
MAY 15: Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager left tonight’s game in the fifth inning after being hit in the right hand/wrist area by a pitch from Marlins southpaw Ross Detwiler. Seager was immediately removed and didn’t take first base, as Sheldon Neuse replaced Seager as a pinch-runner.
There isn’t yet any word on the severity of Seager’s injury, though even a day-to-day type of absence wouldn’t be good news for a Dodger team that already has plenty of key personnel on the injured list. Just today, AJ Pollock joined such names as Cody Bellinger, Tony Gonsolin, David Price, Brusdar Graterol, Scott Alexander, and Zach McKinstry on the short-term IL, while Dustin May and Edwin Rios have suffered season-ending injuries. Losing Seager would be a particularly tough blow considering both his status as one of the game’s best shortstops, and because the Dodgers’ depth at the position is already thinned by the absence of utilityman McKinstry.
In the event of a lengthy absence for Seager, Chris Taylor or Gavin Lux would likely take the reins at shortstop, though moving Taylor out of center field could require Mookie Betts to shift over to center and thus open up a space in right field. A cleaner move would be Lux to shortstop, Max Muncy to second base and an Albert Pujols/Yoshi Tsutsugo combination at first base, though Lux has struggled badly at the plate this season. Fortunately for Los Angeles, Bellinger and McKinstry are both close to beginning rehab assignments, though that wouldn’t help in the short term if Seager is out.
Seager is hitting .265/.361/.422 with four home runs over his first 169 plate appearances of the season. Though his 121 wRC+ is down from the 152 wRC+ posted over 232 PA in 2020, a Seager who stays healthy and productive throughout the season will be well-positioned to be one of the top free agents of the 2021-22 offseason.