Corey Seager expects to start at shortstop for the Dodgers on Tuesday in Game 1 of the World Series.
After missing the National League Championship Series with a lower back strain, Seager completed a series of hurdles in his rehabilitation. He has taken batting practice. He has run the bases. He has faced live pitching in simulated games.
He has done pretty much everything, he said, except for sliding into bases — which is how he injured his back in Game 3 of the National League division series against Arizona.
“I’m going to have to probably do that today,” Seager said Monday. “It was one of those things that I’ve watched the slide over and over, and it wasn’t awkward. So it never really came back into my mind to practice sliding again. But I probably should.
“It’s not a mental thing, which is really nice. It’s not something where I need to slide. It was such a fluke thing that I don’t know if I need to.”
Seager received a pain-killing epidural injection the day after he was injured. He had never received treatment like that before.
“It was nice,” Seager said. “It helped.”
Turner is fit
Held out of the team’s workout on Sunday, third baseman Justin Turner downplayed any concern about his health.
“My knees are great,” Turner said.
Manager Dave Roberts said few Dodgers were likely to appreciate the World Series more than Turner, who went from being a seldom-used utility player with the Baltimore Orioles and New York Mets earlier in his career to an All-Star and NLCS co-MVP with the Dodgers at the age of 32.
“You see his kind of path, trying to survive, from Baltimore to the Mets; a guy that just kind of played once a week to being the glue to our ballclub. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who had that similar path,” Roberts said. “JT deserves everything that’s come his way.”
Hernandez grateful to Astros
Enrique Hernandez was signed by the Houston Astros, spent parts of six seasons in their minor league system and made his big-league debut for the team in July 2014.
Less than a month later, he was traded to the Miami Marlins.
“I didn’t even know that that was possible,” he said Monday. “A month after getting to the big leagues? I didn’t know that it was legal to get traded that soon.”
Three seasons later, Hernandez said he’s gotten over the shock, and he credits the Astros for making him both a major league player and a man.
“I went from being a 17-year-old kid out of Puerto Rico to finding a way to mature and become a big leaguer at 22,” he said. “I will always be extremely appreciative of that organization. They gave me a chance to sign my first professional deal. I got to fulfill my dreams by just getting to the big leagues with them.”
The team is still affecting his life. Earlier this month, Astros owner Jim Crane sent three planes to Puerto Rico with 300,000 pounds of supplies for victims of Hurricane Maria. When those planes returned to the U.S., Hernandez’s parents and sisters and part of his fiancee’s family were aboard.
Hernandez said he hoped to get his grandparents off the island in time for Game 3 of the World Series on Friday in Houston.
“There’s a lot of love for that organization and that’s never going to change,” Hernandez said. Of course, that affection will be put on hold with the first pitch on Tuesday.
“I’m a Dodger now,” he said.