While the Los Angeles Dodgers received a number of reinforcements as rosters expanded on Sept. 1, Alex Verdugo was not among those to rejoin the team.
The rookie, still feeling the effects of an oblique strain, has been sidelined since the beginning of August and was initially projected to return within the first two weeks of September.
Unfortunately, those plans have been placed on the back burner. Verdugo appeared in all of one game with Rookie-level Ogden before having his rehab assignment come to a halt.
The 23-year-old is now essentially in a “holding pattern” as the Dodgers decide on how to proceed. Though it is disappointing that Verdugo will be unable to return for the Dodgers’ upcoming road trip, a bright spot is that his oblique remains in good standing.
“The oblique is in good shape,” manager Dave Roberts said. “But the back, I think early on he hurt it in Tampa initially and it’s sort of been lingering and he’s played through it. The oblique is initially what put him on the IL but the back is something we’re trying to get past.”
One day prior to being placed on the 10-day injured list with the right oblique strain, Verdugo was scratched from the lineup due to back soreness that Roberts believed wasn’t serious enough to sideline him.
Now essentially back at square one, Verdugo will likely take some time to recover before potentially facing live pitching at Camelback Ranch. “I would say he’s still in rehab mode, but Ogden rehab assignment, we’re probably going to pivot,” Roberts said.
“Now we can treat him up, control the at-bats he’ll be seeing against those guys in Arizona. Right now, there’s no concern. I think with Alex, his mechanics, bat to ball, I don’t think it will take him a whole lot of at-bats.
“It’s also the thought of being able to stand in the outfield for a few hours and to build that up. As far as time left on the calendar, we still have plenty of it for him.”
In the event Verdugo is able to make it back this season, he’ll further bolster a Dodgers outfield that has really come into its own as of late.
Joc Pederson tied Larry Walker’s National League record of six consecutive extra-base hits on Wednesday, while A.J. Pollock continues to swing a hot bat himself.
Cody Bellinger has additionally received more playing time in center field as of late, which could bump Verdugo to one of the corner outfield spots.