Thing number one: Angels GM Tony Reagins hasn’t totally ruled out bringing him back for 2011:
“Would I say that it’s completely out of the likelihood that he’ll be
back? I can’t say that at this point. You never know.”
Eh, I’m going to assume that’s just polite talk, because the Angels likely aren’t going to have room for him, what with Bobby Abreu almost certainly moving into the DH slot. Still, given how everyone has assumed that Matsui was one-and-done in Anaheim, even a vague comment suggesting otherwise is noteworthy.
Something else you didn’t know: For all of the talk early in the season about Vlad Guerrero breaking out down in Texas and Matsui disappointing in Anaheim, Matsui actually finished the year with a higher OPS+ — that is, park adjusted OPS — than Vlad did (124 to 122). Matsui finished the season pretty darn strong, and ended up with a stat line that was pretty darn close to his career averages.
Matsui isn’t done. Someone would be wise to take a chance on him for one more year. Hell, if they don’t win the World Series thanks to some poor clutch hitting this month, that someone could even be the Yankees, couldn’t it?
The Dodgers pulled through the five-game Championship Series without Corey Seager, but they’re counting down the days until their prized slugger/shortstop can make his first World Series appearance. He still has a ways to go before he can return to the field, however. Bill Plunkett of the OC Register reports that while Seager has been hitting off a tee, taking soft toss and running the curves of the infield, he’ll need to practice hitting in a simulated game before he can rejoin the team next Tuesday.
The 23-year-old infielder went 3-for-15 with a triple and two RBI in the NLDS earlier this month. He was sidelined in Game 3 of the series after making a bad slide into second base and sustaining a lower back strain. Although he’s made fairly rapid progress in his recovery over the last two weeks, he’s not back at 100% just yet, and Roberts said he won’t make a final decision on his status until it gets closer to game time. Even if Seager makes a successful return to his starting position, the Dodgers may not get the same .295/.375/.479 hitter they relied on during the regular season.
Provided that everything goes smoothly over the next two days, though, there’s a decent chance Seager will find his way to the infield — or, at the very least, to the plate. “We’re very optimistic,” Roberts said Saturday. “Corey doesn’t want to be denied.”