Dodgers News: Mattingly Softens On Committing To Rollins At Shortstop
At the beginning of September the Los Angeles Dodgers called top prospect, shortstop Corey Seager. Shortly after Seager’s call up, veteran shortstop Jimmy Rollins went down with a finger injury on his right hand.
Since Rollins has been sidelined with a sore knuckle on his right index finger, the rookie Seager has started all nine of the Dodgers games at shortstop and recorded at least one hit in eight of those nine games. Seager is batting .419/.528/.628 with one home run, seven RBIs and nine walks.
Despite Seager’s success, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly recently stated Rollins would remain the starting shortstop once he is healthy enough to return. However, prior to Tuesday’s game, Mattingly backed off that stance and left some wiggle room for change.
“We’ll see. We’re going to continue to put the best lineup out there,” he said. “What mixture of guys that is, is where we going to see.” Rollins has used as a pinch-runner in recent games, but when he will be able to play the field is still up in the air. He took batting practice and fielder ground balls on Tuesday, but still hasn’t thrown.
Mattingly stressed the importance of getting everybody back and healthy for the postseason, and taking things one day at a time. “Everything is always evolving. Right now we got to get guys healthy and back. There’s plenty of playing time right now for Corey,” he said.
“He doesn’t need to worry about what’s going forward, he just needs to play today. We don’t need to worry about tomorrow, we just need to win today. We just continue to put a lineup out there with the guys that we have and talk about winning today.”
Since the All-Star break, the veteran Rollins had become a spark plug for the Dodgers, as he returned to the leadoff spot when rookie Joc Pederson struggled. Over 47 games in the second half, Rollins is batting .301/.386/.687.
On Wednesday Mattingly said Rollins suffered a bit of a setback when attempting to throw. The shortstop was shut down and it’s expected he’ll miss several more days. His injury is now classified by the Dodgers as a sprained finger.
While there’s been plenty of debate as to whether Seager should unseat Rollins at shortstop for the remainder of the season, it’s important to remember the understudy is also capable of playing third base.
Given that the Dodgers are committed to providing Turner with multiple days off during the week, Seager could receive plenty of playing time at the hot corner as well.