The first weekend of the 2020 MLB season is in the books, and it’s fair to say that it didn’t exactly go as planned. With news that at least 14 individuals inside the Miami Marlins organization have tested positive for coronavirus, the league office has its first true test. The 60-man player pool was created in order to combat the effect of an outbreak occurring throughout an organization. The main issue here, however, is and always should be protecting the health of the highest risk individuals inside MLB’s universe. It isn’t time to freak out yet. It’s time to sit back and see what Commissioner Manfred and the league will do to keep this season going in a safe manner.
Let’s talk about baseball. The Dodgers no doubt will be disappointed with an opening series split with the woeful San Francisco Giants, but there were a couple very encouraging signs that deserve some attention.
When Corey Seager broke his body in 2018, many thought it would be unlikely that he would come back to be the same player that he was prior to the injuries. This claim was not necessarily debunked in 2019 when Seager had a very good but not great season at the plate and didn’t flash great arm strength at shortstop. Many Dodgers fans wanted Seager to be traded in the offseason or even at the deadline last year for someone like Francisco Lindor, but I was not one of these people. Seager’s approach at the plate is quite different from other Dodger batters; it’s well known that he relishes attacking the first pitch especially when it is a fastball.
In this weekend’s opening series, Seager had 16 official at-bats. 12 of these 16 at-bats resulted in a hard-hit ball (95+ mph exit velocity). What’s even more interesting to me is that his approach at the plate has not changed despite calls for him to do so from fans. Seager is mashing the ball, and he’s doing so on the first pitch regardless of where it is.
If he keeps this up, he will be in the running for MVP at the end of the season. Eventually these hard-hit balls will find space in the field of play or leave the yard. It may still be a little premature to say so, but I’m going out on a limb to say that Corey Seager is back.
Article image sourced from LA Times.