Dodgers’ All-Star shortstop Corey Seager will not be joining the team for the NLCS, according to an announcement made on Saturday. Seager appeared in all three games of the NLDS last week, but tweaked his back in Game 3 and was unable to work back from the injury in time for the next playoff round.
The 23-year-old infielder sustained the injury after sliding into second base in the first inning of Game 3. He wasn’t immediately removed from the game, however, and helped polish off the Division Series sweep with a .273/.467/.455 batting line and two RBI in 15 PA. Following the series, he was diagnosed with back soreness and was unable to participate in team workouts leading up to the NLCS. While he’s still listed as day-to-day, he hasn’t made enough progress to resume his post in the lineup for the next leg of the playoffs.
It’s a tough blow for Los Angeles, who could have used the extra pop in their lineup against the heavy-hitting Cubs. Without Seager, they’ll lean on 28-year-old middle infielder Charlie Culberson, who went 2-for-15 with two hits and two walks during the 2017 season. This will be his first postseason appearance since 2016, when he went 0-for-7 with a pair of strikeouts in four NLDS games against the Nationals. The Dodgers could also turn to some combination of Chris Taylor, Enrique Hernandez and Logan Forsythe at shortstop, though the exact configuration has yet to be determined.
Bad news for the Cubs’ Yu Darvish: The right-hander is headed back to the disabled list with right triceps tendinitis, the team announced Saturday. It’s the second such assignment for Darvish this season, but the first time he’s been sidelined with arm issues. Neither the severity of his injury nor a concrete timeframe for his recovery has been revealed yet, but the move is retroactive to May 23 and will allow him to come off the DL by June 2, assuming all goes well.
Prior to the injury, Darvish went 1-3 in eight starts with a 4.95 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 through 40 innings. Needless to say, these aren’t the kind of results the Cubs were hoping to see after inking the righty to a six-year, $126 million contract back in February, though the circumstances affecting his performances appear to have largely been out of his control. He missed a start in early May after coming down with the flu and has struggled to pitch beyond the fifth inning in five of his eight starts to date.
The Cubs recalled left-hander Randy Rosario from Triple-A Iowa in a corresponding move. Rosario has yet to amass more than five career innings in the majors, but has impressed at Triple-A so far this year: he maintained an 0.97 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 6.1 SO/9 through 19 1/3 innings in 2018. As for Darvish’s next scheduled turn in the rotation, Tyler Chatwood is lined up to take the mound when the Cubs face off against the Giants in the series finale on Sunday. A starter for Monday night’s game has yet to be determined.