SAN FRANCISCO — New York Yankees first baseman Wally Pipp led the American League in home runs in 1916 and 1917. He won a World Series in 1923. In 1925, he went into a slump and was benched in favor of a rookie named Lou Gehrig; Pipp never got his job back as Gehrig started 2,130 consecutive games en route to a Hall of Fame career.
Even 90 years later, replacing an established veteran with a young up-and-comer is still hard, whether the manager is Miller Huggins or Don Mattingly, whether the veteran is Wally Pipp or Jimmy Rollins.
“Nothing like this is ever easy,” said Mattingly, who effectively chose 21-year-old Corey Seager over the 36-year-old Rollins as his everyday shortstop Tuesday.
DENVER — Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez was given a second consecutive day off to rest his sore back as promised. Corey Seager isn’t in the Dodgers’ Sunday lineup for their series finale against the Rockies either. The rookie infielder was given a day off Friday to rest what manager Don Mattingly called “heavy legs.”
Here’s what Mattingly said about Gonzalez and Seager this morning, along with an update on Kiké Hernandez:
DENVER — Corey Seager will not be in the starting lineup when the Dodgers play the Colorado Rockies tonight.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said that Seager, who has reached base in each of his first 16 major league starts, is feeling “heavy legged.” That’s a clever baseball euphemism for fatigue, the kind that comes with playing 144 games across the Double-A, Triple-A and major league levels this year. Only Adrian Gonzalez has played more games this season than Seager among those currently on the Dodgers’ active roster.
Chase Utley is getting his second career start at third base and Jimmy Rollins is starting at shortstop. Here’s what Mattingly said about Seager during his pregame media briefing:
Derek Jeter was 20 years old when he debuted with the New York Yankees in 1995; Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager is 21. (Hans Gutknecht/Staff photographer)
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was asked Tuesday to compare Corey Seager to future Hall of Fame shortstop Derek Jeter, who was coming up through the New York Yankees organization when Mattingly’s playing days were winding down.
“Both guys are pretty humble in the way they go about their business,” Mattingly said. “That’s one thing you see with him and Derek. You see a confidence in both of them too. I saw Derek really really early, like out of high school. Corey’s a little farther down the road. With Corey, we saw an at-bat a couple years ago. Saw him in spring training this year. We didn’t see all the in-between. It seems a little funny, but he seems a little more polished than Derek when I first saw him. Obviously Derek was out of high school. You see the humbleness and the confidence in both guys.”
Jimmy Rollins has been limited to pinch-running duty since he injured his right index finger. (Michael Owen Baker/Staff photographer)
Dodgers shortstop Jimmy Rollins took batting practice and ground balls at Dodger Stadium Tuesday, though he didn’t throw the ball. Rollins, who’s been battling a tender right index finger the last nine days, said he felt “much better” after taking BP.