Dodgers Injury Update: Alex Verdugo Temporarily ‘Shut Down,’ Which Led To Edwin Rios Being Recalled

The turn of the calendar to September saw the Los Angeles Dodgers immediately welcome back Dylan Floro, David Freese and Ross Stripling on the first day active rosters expanded. Austin Barnes has since been recalled, and Rich Hill and Max Muncy are due to return this week.

Sidelined since Aug. 6 with a right oblique strain, Alex Verdugo has long been mentioned among those who would be activated this month as well. He slowly made progress in his recovery before beginning a rehab assignment last week with Rookie-level Ogden.

However that only lasted one game due to Verdugo suffering a setback — not with his oblique but back tightness that previously affected him this season. Verdugo’s rehab assignment was halted and he reported to Camelback Ranch for treatment.

A lack of progress in his recovery has now led to the Dodgers shutting down their rookie outfielder, according to Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times:

Edwin Ríos is here because Alex Verdugo isn’t progressing. Dave Roberts said Verdugo has been shut down for a least a few days. He injured his back on rehab assignment last week.

— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) September 10, 2019

There was an initial expectation Verdugo would be activated at some point during this week’s series with the Baltimore Orioles.

The latest development casts further doubt on the likelihood of Verdugo returning this season. Though, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has continued to maintain there still is time for the 23-year-old to make his way back onto the active roster.

“The oblique is in a good place, but there was that situation in Tampa where his back kind of flared up on him, so that’s what we’re dealing with right now,” Roberts explained over the weekend.

“But certainly the calendar is not stopping. I don’t see him active on this road trip, so now to sort of do the math, the thing is we just have to get Alex back to health. Right now we’re just not there.”

In 106 games this season, Vergudo is batting .294/.342/.475 (114 OPS+) with 22 doubles, two triples, 12 home runs, 44 RBI and four stolen bases.

With Verdugo unavailable for the road trip, the Dodgers recalled Edwin Rios from Triple-A Oklahoma City. Roberts has previously said Rios, Kyle Garlick and others, were not expected to join the team from OKC as the Dodgers looked to avoid an overcrowded clubhouse.