Published On: Tue, May 1st, 2018

Talking Dodgers: Shawn Green on Seager's injury, Bellinger's benching

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On Tuesday, theScore’s Brandon Wile talked about the Los Angeles Dodgers with former two-time All-Star Shawn Green, who shed light on Corey Seager’s impending Tommy John surgery and Cody Bellinger’s benching for lack of hustle.

BW: How big of a blow is losing a two-time All-Star in Corey Seager for the season?

SG: It’s going to be a big loss. They’re very deep, they have a great lineup that’s just off to a slow start, and getting (Justin) Turner back will be a shot in the arm. But also when they get Turner back, it’s almost like they’re back where they started because Seager is very comparable in production. It’s tough to lose a defensive position that’s such a good bat. To lose an All-Star to start the season at third, and just before you get him back, you lose your All-Star shortstop, it’s tough. All teams go through injuries – some get hit harder than others – but other than someone on the pitching staff, this is the biggest blow they could have had.

BW: How deflating is it for a clubhouse when a star goes down for an extended period?

SG: When you hear the news, its tough for a day or two. You see him after surgery coming in with his sling on, that’s definitely deflating, but you also have a job to do and you have a great team. There’s guys (on the bench and in the minors) that would be starting on different teams. (Outfielder Alex) Verdugo just got called up, (right-handed pitcher) Walker Buehler has been up and down already. They have so much talent, and that’s a strength in the organization. It’s very similar to the Braves and Yankees of the ’90s. They went with the approach of really investing in their farm system and its paid dividends over the last couple years and these are the times when those guys are even more valuable.

BW: There’s been speculation that Baltimore’s Manny Machado could be a potential trade target. Do you anticipate the front office will look for help outside the organization?

SG: I would think they’re going to hold tight, but you never know. It’s real important for them to right the ship (following a bad start to the season). The narrative that’s been written so far this season is not a good one. Expectations are so much higher. When you start seeing things like (Cody) Bellinger getting pulled from the game for not hustling, that’s a by-product of all the frustration from both the players’ side, and the coaching side. That needs to get fixed first before they start trying to figure out if they’re going to make a big move in the middle of the season.

BW: Speaking of Bellinger, was his benching more manager Dave Roberts sending a message to him, or to the whole team?

SG: I think it’s probably both. Those things, it’s almost never the first time, it’s usually happened before. It’s really important with young players – even as talented as Cody is – to keep them honest because they’re human and they’re going to make mistakes, make judgement errors, physical errors. Kudos to Dave for addressing it and not letting it linger and having a big blow up. I think he handled it the right way.

BW: Bellinger has had a good start to his sophomore season, but has just three home runs in 28 games. How difficult is it for a player who had huge success early in their career to try and replicate it?

SG: It’s really hard. I learned a couple different times in my career that there’s a lot of pressure when you set a high bar for home runs. Your batting average can bounce around quite a bit, but your home runs, if you’re expecting to hit 40 home runs and you have two or three by the end of the first month, then you start feeling a little bit of pressure. You start thinking, ‘I gotta pick it up, I’ve got to start launching some balls, hitting some balls in the air.’ Not only do you press a little bit, but you sometimes find yourself subconsciously modifying your swing. It is a lot more difficult when you are a home-run hitter. He’s very talented, he’s going to hit his home runs, but you can’t go every season expecting 39-to-45 home runs. There’s going to be years when he’s going to hit 20-something, and years where he’s going to hit 40-to-50.

(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)

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