Posted on October 24, 2017, by Bryan Zarpentine
After being without their starting shortstop during the NLCS, it appears the Los Angeles Dodgers will be at full strength for the World Series. Shortstop Corey Seager is poised to return to the Dodgers for the Fall Classic, according to multiple reports. Seager was taken off the NLCS roster because of a back injury he picked up during the NLDS. However, the Dodgers expect to have him against the Houston Astros.
“A week ago I couldn’t play, today I can,” Seager told reporters on Monday.
Despite hurting his back, Seager was 3 for 8 with a triple, four walks, and two RBIs in three games against the Diamondbacks in the ALDS. However, an epidural he received didn’t take effect in time for him to be added to the NLCS roster. Instead, he required additional rest in order for his back to heal.
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Without Seager available, the Dodgers added Charlie Culberson to the NLCS roster. Culberson ended up starting three of the five games against the Cubs. Chris Taylor started at shortstop in Games 3 and 4. Culberson surprised everybody by going 5 for 11 with three extra-base hits against the NLCS. Taylor has also made an impact during the postseason, hitting .281 with two home runs.
Seager says that sitting out the NLCS was the right decision. It allowed him to rest and get treatment on his back. It has now been two full weeks since Seager last played a game, but he’s been able to resume baseball activities and feels as healthy as he did before tweaking his back in Arizona.
“I feel good,” Seager said Monday. “I tested everything I needed to test. Took some live (batting practice) off pitching yesterday, and that was the last box I needed to check.”
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is expecting Seager to start at shortstop in Game 1. However, he’s also considering the possibility of having him serve as the DH when the series moves to Houston for Games 3, 4, and 5.
“If all goes well after the first two games of the series, then we can kind of reassess at that point in time,” said Roberts. “It does give us another option as far as looking at playing three games at an American League ballpark.”
Roberts has also hinted that Culberson may remain on the roster despite Seager returning. If Seager does indeed serve as the DH for the games in Houston, Culberson is an option to start at shortstop. However, as of Monday night, final roster decisions have not been made.
Obviously, the Dodgers didn’t need Seager to beat the Cubs in the NLCS. But they will certainly be happy to have him back for the World Series. Injuries hindered him during the final month of the regular season, but when healthy, Seager can be one of the best hitters in the Los Angeles lineup. Even though the Dodgers are considered favorites heading into the season, having the reigning National League Rookie of the Year back in the lineup could give Los Angeles a huge boost in the World Series, making an already potent lineup all the more dangerous.