first_img“There are things I thought I was better at than I actually am, and vice versa. Early-count things, one-strike-count things, stuff like that. Some of the things didn’t match and I’m learning why. I hadn’t really understood it before. I understood that shifting defensively can be effective, but now I see it in the numbers. It’s actually been very helpful.”Actually Seager is a .392 hitter on 0-and-1 pitches. Neither that figure nor any other will change until 2019.“I’m trying to make peace with it,” he said. Asked about the negotiations, his elbow refused comment. Dodgers bench slumping Cody Bellinger for a day Dodgers’ Dave Roberts says baseball’s unwritten rules ‘have changed, should change’ Dodgers’ Justin Turner looking rejuvenated on defense LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers are proceeding through the 2018 season without their best player.He misses them.“I’ve been trying to figure out what to do,” Corey Seager said, sitting outside the Dodgers clubhouse Wednesday.He isn’t collecting stamps or raising tomatoes yet. He won’t rule them out. He shows up at Dodger Stadium when his boys are here, and he’s usually at home when they hit the road. Neither option is preferable. Back in April the Dodgers seemed woefully unarmed. They had already lost Justin Turner with a broken wrist in spring training. Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill and Hyun-Jin Ryu were disabled right after Seager went down. The Dodgers were 16-26 on May 16. Now they are running with the pack of National League playoff contenders.Max Muncy’s unforeseen bat has patched the hole, but Seager’s daily professionalism and his all-fields offense are missed. He is a .283 hitter with an .810 OPS against lefty pitchers, a sub-species against whom the Dodgers are hitting .238.The elbow problems did not ambush Seager in the spring. He was dealing with them throughout the second half of 2017. He says he won’t second-guess himself about the off-season, and the possibility of a surgical cleanup. He was trying strengthen everything around the ligament.But it wasn’t right this spring, and when the numbness replaced pain on a couple of throws in late April, it was time to go in.“I thought it might happen eventually,” Seager said. “In a way it was good to know for sure. It’s nice to know I won’t have pain at some point and that I can go out there and try to perform without it.”But that happens next spring. There is a slow-moving line of weeks for Seager to fill in the meantime.“I try to set up a weekly goal and meet it,” he said. “I don’t want to sit there and look ahead to when I can throw. Time goes a lot slower that way.”When will he throw? He doesn’t know and won’t speculate. Range of  motion is the name of the game. He says he’s almost there, but he’s looking forward to “doing it myself instead of having somebody push me into it.”Along with his cheerleading in the dugout, the kind that doesn’t involve hand-clapping, Seager has explored the analytic side of the game. The former visitors’ clubhouse on the first base side of the stadium is the home of the numerologists.“I don’t know how I’ll translate those things onto the field,” he said. “But it’s really interesting to see how they come up with that stuff. It’s like trying to see how they see the game.Related Articlescenter_img Dodgers’ hot-hitting Corey Seager leaves game with back injury The former Rookie of the Year and two-time All-Star shortstop had Tommy John surgery in early May for a torn right ulnar collateral ligament.  He is still shaking hands left-handed. He does rehab, and works on his grip strength and his forearm strength and his flexibility. There is drudgery but no deadline. He was ruled out for the season. That hasn’t changed.Pitchers expect to get their elbow sliced up. They have a large fraternity of commiseration. Seager is 24, wired to play every inning of every day. It isn’t a matter of learning patience, but exile. Even with two brothers in pro baseball, he couldn’t rehearse this.“I talk to Kyle a lot,” Seager said, referring to the veteran third baseman of the Seattle Mariners. “He checks up on me. Mostly it’s just to get stuff off my chest.Sign up for our Inside the Dodgers newsletter. Be the best Dodger fan you can be by getting daily intel on your favorite team. Subscribe here.“I was talking to a lot of guys in the beginning. Most of it was to check on what the first little steps were, how to react to it, what it’s like. But they all had their own checkpoints, so I almost stopped doing it. I didn’t want to be in a position where I’d worry about how soon I could touch my shoulder, that kind of thing. So I almost had to go with the flow, figure it out on my own.“Mostly I talk to people about handling it mentally. It’s like mental warfare, almost.” Whicker: Dustin May yet another example of the Dodgers’ eye for pitching Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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