If the Los Angeles Dodgers want to advance to their first World Series in 29 years, they will have to do it without their All-Star shortstop and reigning National League Rookie of the Year Winner.
Corey Seager was left off the 25-man, National League Championship roster the team announced on Saturday morning.
“This sucks, to be honest,” said a visibly downtrodden Seager before Game 1 of the series. “I’m just trying not to be a distraction.”
Seager said he first felt the injury sliding into second base in the first inning of Game 3 of the NLDS against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix.
“It was a very normal slide,” Seager said of the play. I watched it over and over again to see if I landed awkwardly. I felt it on the slide right away. I took off running on the next play, and that’s when I realized something was wrong. I put a bunch of hot stuff on, and basically the adrenaline of the game kind of kept me in it.”
Seager said he woke up Tuesday morning with sorness in his lower back and undwerwent an MRI that revealed a muscle strain in his lower back and immediately received an epidural shot.
After around the clock treatment that saw Seager resting at home instead of heading to the ball park for team workouts and batting practice, the shortstop was deemed “day-to-day,” as the team held out hope he could start Game 1.
“It had been gradually getting better every day, and we were optmistic all the way up until yesterday [Friday],” Seager said. “That’s when we decided.”
The team chose to leave Seager off the official NLCS roster, essentialy making him ineligible for the series, but available should the team win and advance to the World Series.
There is a slight chance Seager could return, if a player on the Dodgers is injured and placed on the disabled list, Seager could be added in the middle of the series.
However, the injured player would have to be seen by an MLB approved doctor in order to confirm the injury, and that player would be unavailable for the World Series should they advance that far.
In Seager’s absence, the team placed Charlie Culberson on the NLCS roster and also added Joc Pederson in case they want to start Chris Taylor or Kiké Hernandez at shortstop later in the series. Pederson took the place of Pedro Baez on the roster, giving the Dodgers 14 position players and 11 pitchers.
Culberson will start at shortstop in Game 1 and bat eighth in the lineup.
Kevin LaBeach of NBC LA contributed to this story.
Published at 10:46 AM PDT on Oct 14, 2017 | Updated at 7:56 PM PDT on Oct 14, 2017