Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced that outfielder Alex Verdugo is still experiencing discomfort in his oblique, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. He has yet to resume baseball activities and will not be returning to the lineup until after rosters expand in September.
Alex Verdugo still has discomfort in his oblique, hasn’t resumed baseball activity and won’t return to Dodgers until Sept. 1 or later, Dave Roberts said.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) August 20, 2019
Oblique strains are nothing to mess around with and considering how integral Verdugo’s lineup and defensive presence is to the Dodgers, there is no need to rush him back. They need him in October, not now in late-August with a division lead hovering around 20 games.
Verdugo should be fully healthy when it matters most and that is simply all that matters. They need Verdugo at full health and they should get him that way some time in September.
He is currently rehabbing at Camelback Ranch.
On the season, the 23-year-old rookie Verdugo is doing well, putting together a .294/.342/.475 slash line. He has also accumulated 14 defensive runs saved, putting him amongst the best in baseball. According to Baseball Savant, Verdugo also has an 86th-percentile expected batting average.
Prior to his injury, Verdugo had cooled down a great deal. From July 16 to his injury, he was slashing just .204/.259/.296 with a 48 wRC+. Prior to that, he was slashing a fantastic .307/.353/.502 line.
Although the Verdugo injury hurts the Dodgers, the activation of both Kiké Hernandez and Chris Taylor soften the blow.