His left knee already was throbbing, but Corey Seager wanted one more at-bat.
“It probably wasn’t my brightest moment,” Seager said Sunday.
Seager later feared he had torn his meniscus, an injury that could have required surgery and forced him to sit out a month or more, depending on the severity of the tear. Instead, an MRI examination Saturday revealed what Seager called a “mild sprain,” and the Dodgers’ shortstop is expected to sit out one to two weeks.
Seager and the Dodgers are hopeful he can return by the time the season starts in three weeks.
“It’s still pushing it,” Manager Dave Roberts said. “I’m still optimistic.”
Seager said his knee “kind of buckled under me” when he tried to stop while running the bases on Friday. He decided to take one more at-bat before the Dodgers removed him from the game, fortunately without aggravating the sprain or tearing the knee cartilage.
Enrique Hernandez started at shortstop Sunday, and he’ll get the first shot to replace Seager.
Hernandez was drafted as a shortstop in 2009. The Houston Astros signed him and moved him to second base, he said, because they wanted him to move up the minor league ladder together with their first-round pick that year, shortstop Jiovanni Mier of Bonita High in La Verne.
Hernandez was the Astros’ seventh pick that year. None of the other six -- Mier included -- has made the major leagues. The player the Astros drafted after Hernandez that year: Dallas Keuchel, the reigning American League Cy Young award winner.
The Dodgers’ projected starting infield -- first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, second baseman Howie Kendrick, third baseman Justin Turner and Seager -- has not played a single inning together this spring.
The Dodgers’ opening day shortstop -- whether Seager or Hernandez -- will be the sixth in as many years. Rafael Furcal started the opener at shortstop in 2011, followed by Dee Gordon in 2012, Justin Sellers in 2013, Hanley Ramirez in 2014 and Jimmy Rollins in 2015.
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