Corey Seager has provided a jolt to the Dodgers since his call-up last month and it’s been enough for him to unseat Jimmy Rollins as the starting shortstop with the playoffs approaching.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly hasn’t made an official announcement, but Rollins essentially confirmed the news to Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times last night.
“They’re going to play him,” Rollins said. “We had a conversation and that’s the way it was said: ‘We’re going to go with the kid. That’s the lineup we feel is best.'”
Seager started over Rollins at shortstop last night for the third time in the last four games. For his part, Rollins appears to be taking the switch in stride, saying that “it isn’t about the name on the back, it’s about winning baseball.”
The 36-year-old Rollins has posted career-lows across the board at the plate this season, batting just .226/.286/.360 over 143 games. Meanwhile, the 21-year-old Seager is batting .316/.404/.516 with three home runs and 16 RBI over his first 26 games in the majors.
While Seager is the primary option at shortstop, he has also seen some playing time at third base since his call-up. Mattingly could simply shuffle him with Justin Turner and Rollins during the playoffs.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Major League Baseball Players Association has submitted a proposal to the league concerning the 2020 season. The proposal includes a 114-game season with an end date on October 31, playoff expansion for two years, the right for players to opt out of the season, and a potential deferral of 2020 salaries if the postseason were to be canceled.
Passan clarifies that among the players who choose to opt out, only those that are considered “high risk” would still receive their salaries. The others would simply receive service time. The union also proposed that the players receive a non-refundable $100 million sum advance during what would essentially be Spring Training 2.
If the regular season were to begin in early July, as has often been mentioned as the target, that would give the league four months to cram in 114 games. There would have to be occasional double-headers, or the players would have to be okay with few off-days. Nothing has been mentioned about division realignment or a geographically-oriented schedule, but those could potentially ease some of the burden.
Last week, the owners made their proposal to the union, suggesting a “sliding scale” salary structure. The union did not like that suggestion. Players were very vocal about it, including on social media as Max Scherzer — one of eight players on the union’s executive subcommittee — made a public statement. The owners will soon respond to the union’s proposal. They almost certainly won’t be happy with many of the details, but the two sides can perhaps find a starting point and bridge the gap. As the calendar turns to June, time is running out for the two sides to hammer out an agreement on what a 2020 season will look like.