Corey Seager

Former Giants infielder replaces Dodgers' star shortstop on NLCS roster

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USATSI

Former Giants infielder replaces Dodgers' star shortstop on NLCS roster

LOS ANGELES — Shortstop Corey Seager has been left off the Los Angeles Dodgers' roster for the NL Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs.

The Dodgers announced Seager's surprise omission due to a back injury on Saturday, several hours before Game 1 at Dodger Stadium.

Los Angeles also dropped reliever Pedro Baez from its roster. Infielder Charlie Culberson and outfielder Joc Pederson were added.

Chicago made only one change from the last playoff round, adding reliever Hector Rondon and removing reliever Justin Wilson.

Seager complained of back soreness during the Dodgers' NL Division Series clincher in Arizona on Monday, and 2016 NL Rookie of the Year didn't participate in team workouts this week. Still, manager Dave Roberts said Friday that he was very optimistic that Seager would play in the NLCS.

Seager was an All-Star selection this season while batting .295 with 22 homers and 77 RBIs as a key part of the top of the Dodgers' lineup.

Kike Hernandez, Chris Taylor and Culberson all worked out at shortstop Friday for the Dodgers. The versatile Taylor was the Dodgers' center fielder during the NLDS, but he made 96 appearances in the outfield this season and 44 in the infield, including 14 games at shortstop.

Pederson is batting .071 with no homers since July, but the Dodgers could need him in center field if Taylor plays shortstop.

Culberson famously homered to clinch the Dodgers' NL West title in announcer Vin Scully's final home game last season, but the infielder spent most of this season at Triple-A, appearing in only 14 games for the Dodgers.

Rondon was the Cubs' closer in 2014 and 2015, but moved to a setup role last season after Aroldis Chapman's arrival. He appeared in 61 regular-season games this year, going 4-1 with a 4.24 ERA in an up-and-down campaign.

Chicago acquired Wilson in a trade with Detroit on July 31, adding a veteran left-handed reliever who had 13 saves for the Tigers this season. The Southern California native wasn't great in his two months with the Cubs, posting a 5.09 ERA with 19 walks in 23 appearances.

Manager Joe Maddon chose Wilson for the NLDS over Rondon, only to switch it up against the Dodgers.

Dodgers' Seager, Tigers' Fulmer win Rookie of the Year honors

Dodgers' Seager, Tigers' Fulmer win Rookie of the Year honors

Corey Seager won the NL Rookie of the Year award unanimously.

Michael Fulmer took the AL honor - and that vote wasn't all that close, either.

Seager and Fulmer were announced as the winners Monday night, when votes from the Baseball Writers' Association of America were made public. Seager's victory was almost a foregone conclusion after he hit .308 with 26 home runs and 72 RBIs this year for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Fulmer, on the other hand, had to hold off a late challenge from New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez, who hit 20 home runs in only 53 games.

Fulmer's season-long contributions for Detroit won out. The right-hander went 11-7 with a 3.06 ERA in 26 starts for the Tigers. He ended up receiving 26 of 30 first-place votes from the BBWAA, outdistancing Sanchez by a total of 142 points to 91.

Cleveland outfielder Tyler Naquin finished third in the AL race.

Seager received the maximum 150 points in the NL vote, followed by Washington outfielder Trea Turner (42) and Dodgers pitcher Kenta Maeda (37).

Seager is the 17th Dodgers player to earn Rookie of the Year honors - easily the most of any team - but the franchise hadn't had a winner since Todd Hollandsworth in 1996.

The Dodgers, of course, had the first Rookie of the Year when Jackie Robinson won in 1947. They also had four winners in a row from 1979-82 and five in a row from 1992-96.

Seager, a first-round draft pick by the Dodgers in 2012, was the second player in a row to win NL Rookie of the Year unanimously. Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs did it last year.

Seager joins a list of Dodgers Rookie of the Year winners that includes luminaries like Robinson, Fernando Valenzuela (1981) and Mike Piazza (1993).

Fulmer is the fifth Tigers player to win the award, joining Justin Verlander (2006), Lou Whitaker (1978), Mark Fidrych (1976) and Harvey Kuenn (1953).

Detroit acquired Fulmer in 2015 from the Mets in the trade that sent Yoenis Cespedes to New York. Fulmer made his big league debut this April and lifted the Tigers with a sensational stretch leading up to the All-Star break. From May 21 through July 6, he went 7-1 with a 0.63 ERA.

Sanchez made his own bid with his torrid hitting down the stretch, but that wasn't enough to close the gap on Fulmer.