Rangers put All-Star SS Corey Seager on IL with sprained right thumb

ARLINGTON, TX - JUNE 4: Corey Seager #5 of the Texas Rangers hits a run scoring double against the Seattle Mariners during the sixth inning at Globe Life Field on June 4, 2023 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

Texas Rangers All-Star shortstop Corey Seager went on the 10-day injured list Saturday with a sprained right thumb.

Seager said an MRI showed no structural issues with the thumb that he hurt in the series opener Friday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers, his former team. X-rays after he exited the game were negative.

"They said probably a week or so with just inflammation in general," Seager said. "And then kind of pain tolerance from there. So I'm not overly worried about it."

The AL West-leading Rangers announced the IL move just minutes before Saturday's game. It is the second time this season Seager has gone on the injured list.

Seager got hurt when his hand jammed awkwardly into the base when reaching on a head-first slide to beat out a double in the eighth inning of the series opener against the NL West-leading Dodgers. 

He said his thumb was sore and swollen, as would be expected. That is his bottom hand as a left-handed hitter, and his throwing hand since he fields right-handed. 

"It could have gotten a lot worse than it was," Seager said.

The Rangers recalled catcher Sam Huff from Triple-A Round Rock.

Seager is hitting .350 with 15 homers and 58 RBIs in 66 games. His batting average would lead the American League if he qualified, but he missed 31 games with a left hamstring strain just two weeks into the season.

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He was also hurt running the bases then. Seager was running out an opposite-field double into the left-field corner against Kansas City on April 11, and he appeared to make the turn around first base cleanly before  pulling up after a few steps and gingerly going to second base. 

The Rangers then went 19-12 without the shortstop, who is in the second season of his $325 million, 10-year deal in Texas.

"That's a great message to the club that how well they played when he went down before," manager Bruce Bochy said. "These guys really, you know, showed a lot of resolve last time it happened. And that's what we have to do now. Like I've said many times, you've got now choice, so here we are."

Seager was initially called out Friday night on right fielder Mookie Betts' throw from the right-center field gap. The Rangers challenged the play, but Seager was already headed back to the dugout with his right arm hanging low and clearly in discomfort as he flexed his hand.

The out call was overturned on replay. Josh Smith then came in to run for Seager, who hit his 15th homer in the sixth to put the Rangers ahead 5-4.  They lost 11-5 . 

Ezequiel Duran was in the starting lineup at shortstop Saturday.

Seager was the MVP of both the 2020 World Series and NL Championship Series when the Dodgers won at Globe Life Field in the neutral-site playoffs during the COVID-19 pandemic. That was the last time Los Angeles had played there before Friday night's series opener.