The Texas Rangers released some unfortunate news on Tuesday afternoon. It was announced that shortstop Corey Seager underwent surgery for a sports hernia on Monday afternoon. General manager Chris Young gave the news to the local media on Tuesday. Seager's surgery is the second offseason surgery by a Texas Ranger. Max Scherzer had back surgery in December and is still recovering. Corey Seager had surgery on Monday and will likely miss a majority of spring training according to Chris Young. Lets look at what this means and who will fill in at short while Seager is out.
Corey Seager's recovery timeline
Chris Young said several things about this to the media, but the most important thing for the team is that this surgery does not rule out Seager from playing on Opening Day. He said this when asked about the timeline,
"The hope is that by the end of spring, he’ll have resumed baseball activity and will be pretty close to full speed at that point."- General Manager Chris Young
He also did throw in that his concern is "relatively low" about the injury. This injury happened near the end of the season according to Chris Young. Seager to get ready for the season faced two options, play with the injury and hope it did not get worse and be forced to have the surgery then or get the surgery and recover now. Seager and the team opted for surgery now.
Sports hernia surgery is normally a six-week recovery process from the time of the surgery to full participation according to the Baylor University Medical Center. If there are not setbacks in the recovery process that would have Seager in some spring training games over the last two weeks of camp, which should give him enough time and at-bats to be ready for Opening Day.
Who is filling in at short for Corey Seager?
Texas is likely not going to pursue an external option to help out the team. This injury will allow Bochy to get a long look at Ezequiel Duran, Josh Smith, Jonathan Ornelas, and maybe some other minor leaguers such as Cam Cauley and Sebastian Walcott in some situations. Texas has depth in the middle infield and this will give those players an early opportunity in camp to really make an impression and potentially earn more playing time.
The player to watch now is Duran. He had a tremendous first half in 2023 as he filled in for Seager and then took over the left-field position. In the second half his production took a dip and then he was left off of the playoff rosters for each round. He did not get a roster spot until Garcia was removed from the World Series with his oblique strain. Duran now will have a chance to show off the work he has put in over the offseason to improve upon what he did in 2023. If he plays well he will certainly earn a roster spot as the utility infielder.
The hope is that this is just an injury that will keep Seager out for the majority of spring training and he will be ready for Opening Day. There is no reason to expect otherwise at this point.