Corey Seager’s road back from surgeries was easier on defense

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error As he went through the months of rehab following last year’s surgeries, Seager always knew that would be the case. But he admits there were times when he worried.“You always do,” Seager said. “You always wonder how it’s going to be, how you’re going to react. But once you get back out there and get in the flow of things that comes back.”INJURY NEWSDodgers outfielder Joc Pederson left Saturday’s game in the eighth inning after being thrown out at home plate trying to score on a wild pitch. Pederson would not have been in the starting lineup against left-hander Madison Bumgarner Sunday regardless. But Roberts said Pederson was dealing with a sore back after the game.Related Articles Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco SAN FRANCISCO – As a coach on the Angels staff, Dino Ebel admired what he saw of Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager.“For me when I saw him from the other side, he was a good-looking shortstop, great defender, good hands,” Ebel recalled.That was not really the player Ebel began working with this spring in his first year on the Dodgers’ coaching staff. Seager was returning from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow and arthroscopic surgery on his left hip. He and Ebel went through a long progression this spring. It was usually Ebel who hit ground balls to Seager during his carefully-monitored workouts (down to the number of ground balls Seager could field daily) – first only straight at him then slowly side to side.But Seager’s full range has returned and his post-surgery defense has been easier to recover than his swing (which has returned over the past month).center_img Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies “It’s just something that got him yesterday, I think on the slide home,” Roberts said, adding that Pederson was still available to pinch-hit or enter the game later.Meanwhile, outfielder Matt Beaty was scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga Sunday. Beaty is on the Injured List with a hip flexor injury. He will be eligible to come off the IL on Thursday.UP NEXTDodgers (LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu, 9-1, 1.35 ERA) at Angels (RHP Griffin Canning, 2-2, 3.52 ERA), 7:05 p.m., SportsNet LA (where available), Fox Sports West, AM 570, KLAA 830 “Yeah, for sure. Easier timing, you know what I mean?” Seager said. “You just have to be on the ground when the ball is crossing the plate (on defense) more than the timing and rhythm at the plate. It’s definitely an easier thing to come back to, for sure.”With all the attention on Seager returning to his offensive form, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts says “it shouldn’t be underappreciated what he’s doing out there defensively” at shortstop.“I think a lot of it has to do with his body composition, the way his body is moving,” Roberts said. “Even in ’16 I don’t think he looked like this as far as where his body was at. Obviously he had the hip issue. Even talking to Corey he’s really never felt this good as far as the way his body moving. So now you layer that in with his ability to lock in on pitches, be in the right spots … this is really, really impressive defense.”Roberts acknowledged the challenge was greater offensively when Seager returned after missing most of last season.“I think it’s much easier on the defensive side,” he said. “Granted there’s a timing issue with defense too. But the body allowing him to get in position to make the plays that he needs to make, to make throws – you watch the way his feet are moving, the backhand play … his legs and body are allowing him to make the plays.”last_img read more