PHOENIX (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers’ difficult April got a lot worse Monday with news that two-time All-Star shortstop and 2016 NL Rookie of the Year Corey Seager will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the operation will be performed Friday in Los Angeles to repair a right ulnar collateral ligament sprain.
“It’s a big blow,” Roberts said.
The 24-year-old infielder had been bothered by a sore elbow since the middle of last season but had tried to deal with the problem with rest and rehabilitation rather than surgery.
“We just feel for Corey,” Roberts said. “It’s something that he’s had to deal with for a couple of years. The elbow finally gave way and I feel bad for him.”
Seager spoke to reporters in the dugout before the Dodgers played NL West rival Arizona on Monday night. He said he felt pain and numbness after a couple of throws in the recently completed series at San Francisco.
“I had a few bad throws over the weekend and went and got an MRI this morning and it was necessary to have surgery,” he said.
There was no doubt surgery was needed, Seager said, calling it “cut and dried.”
He said he was at peace with the decision after dealing with the arm problem for so long.
“You always think if the day would come,” Seager said. “You always hope it doesn’t come. I’ve kind of accepted it now. It’s just nice to know it’s finished. It’s done with. No more decisions to be made.”
Seager said he did not regret deciding against surgery in the offseason, saying there were other options then and the arm wasn’t as bad.
“It would have been a forced thing,” he said. “It wasn’t the right step to just go ahead and do it. It was still in that kind of middle ground where the first step should have been rehab and see if you could take some time off and it would be all right.”
The new MRI, he said, showed the injury had gotten “much, much worse.”
Seager was batting .267 with two home runs and 13 RBIs. He’s a .302 career hitter in two-plus major league seasons with 54 homers, 179 RBIs and an .866 OPS.
Last year, Seager hit .295 with 22 homers and 77 RBIs. As a rookie in 2016, he burst onto the scene with a .308 average, 26 homers, 40 doubles and 72 RBIs, finishing third in NL MVP voting.
Roberts said Chris Taylor would move in from the outfield to become the everyday shortstop.
“We just have to have other guys step up and fill that void,” Roberts said. “We have a lot of good players but it obviously makes it a lot more difficult without one of your best players, but we can do it.”
The defending NL champion Dodgers already were without third baseman Justin Turner, sidelined by a broken left wrist. Right fielder Yasiel Puig went on the 10-day disabled list Sunday with a bruised left hip.
Seager was placed on the 10-day DL and infielder-outfielder Breyvic Valera was called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City.
The Dodgers entered their four-game series at Arizona with a 12-15 record, seven games behind the NL West-leading Diamondbacks.
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