Rangers shortstop Corey Seager is expected to be activated prior to tonight’s game, per Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The 29-year-old Seager, playing in the second season of a decade-long $325MM contract, has missed the past month due to a hamstring strain. He burst out of the gates with a .359/.469/.538 showing through his first 49 trips to the plate and went 2-for-8 with a double, a walk and no strikeouts in a brief three-game rehab assignment at Double-A. In Seager’s absence, 23-year-old Ezequiel Duran has filled in admirably at shortstop, batting .293/.328/.474 on the season, though his bat has cooled off in the past week or so. Manager Bruce Bochy has been impressed enough that he’s pledged to find “creative” ways to keep Duran in the lineup frequently even after Seager’s return.
A few more injury situations of particular note to keep an eye on around the league…
Right-hander Walker Buehler is with the team at Dodger Stadium and will throw in the bullpen for the Major League staff to take a look at his progress in recovering from Tommy John surgery, tweets Juan Toribio of MLB.com. Walker is still a ways from being an option in the big leagues. The 28-year-old’s surgery was performed late last August, and the general expectation surrounding him has been that he’ll at best be an option in the final month or so of the season. Still, the fact that Buehler has already had multiple bullpen sessions in Arizona and is slated for more mound work this week at Dodger Stadium is encouraging for both the Dodgers and their fans.
The Twins hope that right-hander Kenta Maeda can resume throwing off a mound by the end of the week, tweets Dan Hayes of The Athletic. Maeda hit the injured list with a triceps strain after being tattooed for 10 runs in three innings against the Yankees. He’d previously allowed six runs on 12 hits with a 12-to-1 K/BB ratio in 13 innings (4.15 ERA) after missing the entire 2022 season. The Twins’ rotation depth has been tested early, with Bailey Ober and Louie Varland stepping in for the injured Maeda and Tyler Mahle (Tommy John surgery). A healthy Maeda would again give the Twins six candidates for rotation work, but injuries tend to sort these issues out. And, if everyone is healthy at the same time, the Twins could opt to use Maeda in relief as a means of monitoring his workload after not throwing a pitch last season.
Brewers infielder Keston Hiura, currently playing with their Triple-A club, will miss several weeks due to a posterior cruciate ligament injury in his left knee, tweets Adam McCalvy of MLB.com. Hiura won’t require surgery, but the expectation is that he’ll be out of game action until late next month. It’s a tough blow for the former top prospect, who was hoping to play his way back onto the big league roster after clearing outright waivers earlier this year. He’s out to a .331/.396/.678 start with a dozen home runs through 134 plate appearances with Nashville this season and has trimmed his strikeout rate there to 24.6%. Hiura has had similar stretches in Triple-A before, however, and his familiar strikeout woes have regularly resurfaced upon being promoted back to the big leagues. He batted .226/.316/.449 with the Brewers last year (115 wRC+), but because of a staggering 41.7% strikeout rate, he needed a .355 average on balls in play to get to that middling .226 batting average.