LOS ANGELES — World Series MVP Corey Seager will miss at least a few weeks for the Los Angeles Dodgers after breaking a bone in his right hand.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the star shortstop does not need surgery on his broken fifth metacarpal – the bone closest to the palm in his pinky finger. Seager’s hand was in a splint and a wrap while he chatted with his agent, Scott Boras, in the Dodger Stadium stands before the defending champions’ series finale against Miami.
“I think we dodged a bullet,” Roberts said. “No surgery required. He’s in a splint, and we’re just going to let it heal. With a broken hand, the timeline is pretty vague, so that’s where it’s at.”
Roberts said the “floor” for Seager’s return likely was four weeks, but it was impossible to assign a definite timetable.
“I don’t know,” Roberts said. “You’ve just got to let it happen.”
Seager was hit by a pitch from Miami’s Ross Detwiler in the fifth inning of Los Angeles’ 7-0 victory. The Dodgers placed Seager on the 10-day injured list Sunday and recalled catcher Keibert Ruiz from Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Seager became the 13th player on Los Angeles’ dismaying injured list, joining regular position players Cody Bellinger, AJ Pollock and Zach McKinstry. They’ve already lost powerful starter Dustin May and infielder Edwin Rios for the entire season.
Seager is batting .265 with four homers and 22 RBIs this season, his last before he becomes eligible for unrestricted free agency. The two-time All-Star and 2016 NL Rookie of the Year was both the NLCS MVP and the World Series MVP last season, batting .347 with seven homers and 16 RBIs in the two series combined during the Dodgers’ run to their first World Series title since 1988.
Roberts will fill Seager’s spot in the lineup with a combination of strategies, many dependent on each day’s pitching matchup. Gavin Lux moved from second base to shortstop, while Chris Taylor came in from the outfield to play second base.
First baseman Max Muncy moved up to take Seager’s customary No. 2 spot in the Dodgers’ batting order against Miami.
Lux will be LA’s primary shortstop with Seager out. The Dodgers also will use Muncy at other infield positions during Seager’s absence, while newcomers Albert Pujols and Yoshi Tsutsugo will play first base along with Bellinger when the former NL MVP returns.
Tsutsugo is joining the Dodgers after they acquired him from Tampa Bay, and Pujols’ signing is expected to be announced.
The Dodgers are finally getting a bit of good injury news as well: Former Cy Young Award winner David Price is expected to be activated Monday after his hamstring injury, while Bellinger is optimistic he will return next weekend from a hairline leg fracture incurred in the Dodgers’ season-opening series.