<
>

Fatigued and a bit sore, Corey Seager vows to keep pushing

LOS ANGELES -- Despite a lull offensively late in the season, Los Angeles Dodgers rookie sensation Corey Seager is still taking the stairs to the top.

No, that is not a metaphor.

Seager says he still maneuvers eight flights of stairs a day when the Dodgers are home. The legs are weary, while the superstition remains strong.

"I always take the stairs every day," Seager said, admitting it is a routine he is reluctant to break at this point.

Then Seager frowned. Only seconds before, when asked how he feels at this point of the season, he admitted: "I wouldn't say [I'm] tired. It's just the end of the year and the normal thing where you don't feel as good as you did at the beginning of the year."

Seager asked for leniency.

"That's going to come out and they're going to yell at me for taking the stairs," Seager said about the team's front office and coaching staff. "You guys are going to get me in trouble here."

Stairs or not, Seager is in the least amount of trouble as anybody in the Dodgers' locker room. He is in a full sprint toward a National League Rookie of the Year award and has been the most consistent performer on a Dodgers offense that has flourished in the second half.

Hits are not coming as frequently, though, and a sore wrist seems to be the cause. But Seager offers no excuses. Since he was hit on the left wrist by a pitch in Monday's game at Colorado, Seager was hitless in his past 16 plate appearances, going 0-for-14 with two walks.

"Yeah, it's kind of getting better every day," Seager said, shrugging, not wanting to make a big deal about it. "The swelling's gotten to and stuff, so hopefully it stops being sore here pretty soon and we can move on."

Except the blow to the wrist was definitely something to worry about. The Dodgers might have been able to stay afloat without Clayton Kershaw for two-plus months, but getting by without Kershaw and Seager is not something that was going to work well.

So Seager will fight through the sore wrist and heavy legs, because at this time of the year, that is what you do. Even rookies know that.

"I don't think there is any reason (for an offensive lull), just one of those points where you're not physically where you want to be," Seager said. "You just can't maintain (your swing), or do it as consistently as I was in the beginning. It's just that point of the year."

Just what kind of rookie has Seager been? At the start of Saturday, he was fourth in hits at 162, fifth in runs at 88, third in doubles at 38 and eighth in batting average at .312. And those aren't rankings among other rookies; that is his place in each category in the entire National League.

Seager has solved all the challenges to this point, so it is only a matter of time before he figures out how to muster his second wind.