Rosters are set to expand and the baseball world is in a frenzy. Playoff races are more intense simply because the calendar has flipped from August to September, and what better way to wage war against your foes than by calling upon reinforcements? Well, it’s September, so that’s actually allowed. Rosters expand today, from the 25-man roster to the 40-man, which means many teams will be calling up pieces to help fill gaps in order to make their playoff push, or for those teams that are out of the chase, see what they’re working with for next season.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are dealing with a myriad of injuries, and as Molly Knight, Dodger beat writer and New York Times bestseller tweeted out last night:
As one is prone to do on the internet, I followed the rabbit hole on this thread, and what Ms. Knight had to say was very telling–about the team, and their state of mind.
With the Dodgers holding a 4.5 game lead over the San Francisco Giants in the NL West after last night’s marathon win, adding a talented prospect such as Seager could be the difference between making the playoffs and another heartbreaking end to their season.
So, how has Corey Seager done this season? After demolishing Double-A in 20 games to start this season, batting .375 with a .407 on-base percentage (OBP) to go along with five homers and 15 RBI. Seager was promoted to Triple-A Oklahoma City. With the OKC Dodgers, Seager has hit a more modest .275 with a .327 OBP with 13 home runs and 56 RBI. His power stroke has come on a little over his last ten games, belting three long balls while driving in nine, but the 21-year old SS/3B is only batting .262 during that stretch.
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Justin Turner has been doing a great job for Los Angeles at third base, batting .294 with 15 HR and 52 RBI, yet struggled to a .154 clip in August. Jimmy Rollins, the team’s shortstop, has struggled all season, batting just .221. Either is a spot that Seager could take over, but most of his time in the minors has been spent manning short, and that is the Dodgers’ greater area of need, so if he were to be called up, that’s where we’d see him.
However, it isn’t as easy as just calling up a player because there’s a need. Seager has not been added to the Dodgers’ 40-man roster just yet, and that would need to be done for him to make his debut in Los Angeles. There is also the worry that surrounds starting his service time clock in the Majors, limiting how long Los Angeles would have control of the young Seager. While this may have been an issue in Tampa Bay and Oakland where President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman and General Manager Farhan Zaidi are more familiar, the Dodgers ownership group has shown that they are willing to shell out the big bucks to land players. While the owners likely don’t have an endless supply of cash, a World Series championship would sure help that supply.
Even if the move didn’t land the team a championship (which certainly is no guarantee), by the time Seager’s contract would be up, some of the more costly players on the Dodger roster will have seen their contracts expire.
There really is no reason to not call up Corey Seager at this point. If the front office wants to win a championship, this move may just have to be made for this to even be a possibility. If he’s not called up, we may have to wait for an allotted amount of days next season (a la Kris Bryant) before seeing Seager make his debut in the Majors.