Alex Verdugo may finally get his shot to prove he can manage the load of a full major-league season. According to Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, Verdugo is expected to be on the team’s Opening Day roster.
Dave Roberts said he expects 22-year-old Alex Verdugo to be on the Dodgers’ opening-day roster.
— Pedro Moura (@pedromoura) March 14, 2019
Verdugo has been one of the Dodgers’ top prospects for quite awhile now and although he has underperformed in a small MLB sample size, his prospect pedigree is still there.
It is quite exciting to see what Verdugo could do over the course of a full major league season. However, he is still battling another left-handed hitter in Joc Pederson for outfield at-bats.
The team most likely will not bring up Alex Verdugo if they do not plan to play him, so that bodes well for Dugie.
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Across 25 spring at-bats, Verdugo has registered 7 hits and a .669 OPS. That .669 OPS is exactly what he has posted across 100 major league at-bats over the last two seasons.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) March 3, 2019
Across 208 career games in AAA, Verdugo has hit 16 homers and swiped 17 bases to go along with a .321/.389/.452 batting line.
If Verdugo can get even close to the numbers he put up in Oklahoma City, he will be a welcome addition to the club.
This move does force some playing-time questions for multiple players, including Verdugo himself. This could also mean Cody Bellinger playing more first base and Max Muncy playing less than originally perceived. Although unlikely, this could mean the Dodgers are moving on from Joc Pederson who had been mentioned last month in trade talks with the Chicago White Sox, according to multiple sources.
Fully expect Verdugo to be in the lineup nearly everyday against right-handed pitching and occasionally against southpaws to aid the woeful Joc Pederson against that handedness.
It appears that a key piece of the future might be here to stay.