ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Texas Rangers shortstop Corey Seager will miss at least four weeks after being placed on the injured list Wednesday with a left hamstring strain after getting hurt running the bases.
General manager Chris Young said Seager had an MRI that showed a Grade 2 strain. Seager, who got hurt in the fifth inning of Tuesday night’s game against Kansas City, spent nearly a month on the IL with a left hamstring strain during the 2019 season with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“Somebody of Corey’s caliber is not replaceable, but it leads to opportunity for other players to step up. And that’s what good teams do,” Young said. “All good teams, every team, goes through injuries. And we knew something like this would happen, didn’t know when or to whom.”
Texas went into Wednesday night’s game against the Royals leading the AL West with a 7-4 record.
Seager said he didn’t remember much about the 2019 injury and didn’t want to put a timeline on a return.
“There’s nothing else you can really do now other than support your teammates and try and be healthy,” Seager said. “How that looks, I don’t know yet. It’ll be dependent on how you feel.”
While Seager went on the 10-day IL, the Rangers activated switch-hitting center fielder Leody Taveras from that list. Taveras, who was set to return from his rehab assignment sometime this week, began the season on the IL because of a left oblique strain sustained during batting practice early in spring training.
Taveras was back in the lineup batting seventh for the Rangers. Josh Smith was the starting shortstop and hitting second, Seager’s usual spot in the order.
Seager was off to an impressive start in the second year of his $325 million, 10-year contract with the Rangers. He got hurt running out an opposite-field double into the left-field corner, his fifth consecutive game with an extra-base hit. He entered the day seventh in the American League hitting at .359, with nine walks for a .469 on-base percentage.
“You hate to see it with as well as he’s been playing,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “He’s been locked in at the plate, as well as any hitter I’ve seen.”
After cleanly making the turn around first, Seager took a few more steps before he suddenly pulled up and then limped the rest of the way to second base. He briefly reached toward the back of his leg, bent down and almost immediately started going back toward the Rangers dugout, even before a team trainer got all the way out to check on him.
Seager said he was thinking about a triple from the moment of contact because the left fielder was a long way from the ball.
“So it wasn’t like I really sped up or what not to kind of do something like that,” Seager said. “Just something unfortunate that it happened.”
Smith took over as the pinch-runner and stayed in the game at shortstop. Smith avoided an IL stint last week after he got hit by a pitch in the face and needed six stitches.
The Rangers also have utility player Ezequiel Duran on the roster who can play short, but Bochy said Smith would get most of the starts at shortstop in Seager’s absence.
“He knows who he is,” Bochy said. “He’s a really good player, different type of player. Different guys, different hitters. You can probably do a couple more things with Smitty than you would with Corey.”
Seager played 151 games in his debut with the Rangers last season, when he never missed more than three games in a row. He hit a career-high 33 homers and was an All-Star for the third time.
But he missed about 2 1/2 months of the 2021 season with the Dodgers because of a fractured right hand after getting hit by a pitch. Along with the previous hamstring injury, he was limited to only 26 games in 2018 because of right elbow surgery.
AP Baseball Writer Stephen Hawkins contributed to this report.
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