It’s not often that a player of Alex Verdugo‘s caliber has to fight to get at-bats. A star like him is generally put into the lineup the moment he is brought up to the big leagues and rarely moves out of the spotlight. Verdugo is in a bit of a weird spot though and has been for a few years in Los Angeles. His spot on the roster was blocked for a long time by an abundance of talented outfielders, so he spent way more time at the minor league level than expected.
But now, Verdugo is being given the chance to play, albeit on a part-time basis. And he showed on Tuesday evening that he can and should be a staple in the Dodgers’ lineup on a daily basis. Verdugo chatted with Dodgers’ reporter Alanna Rizzo after Los Angeles took game two from Cincinnati, and it was surprising what he had to say.
— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) April 17, 2019
Verdugo had plenty of good things to say about his teammates and his coaching staff when the focus shifted to him. While he did not shy away from the fact that he was excited to have the first three-hit game of his career, he also was not going to take all of the credit.
Big credit to Kiké in the first inning. I kinda got jammed up the middle and he’s busting his butt and he gets there. It’s a hit for me, but also an RBI for the team…big shoutout to him for that it really helped me out a lot.
Alex has not been shy to point out that he hasn’t got the chances he felt he deserved in the past, but his tone changed dramatically with this interview. Verdugo chose to say that he was happy to take advantage of playing time when he got it, even if he hasn’t played a lot this year. He also showed just how thankful he was when Alanna asked how he felt batting fifth.
If I’m in the starting lineup, I like where I’m at.
Verdugo is young, and he still needs time to get fully adjusted to Major League pitching. He will need to learn to take his walks as they come, but there is no denying the incredible talent he possesses. Dugie is hitting .375 with three homeruns and twelve runs driven in across 40 at-bats. His power is there, his approach is there, and he deserves more playing time than he is getting. Verdugo is also handling left-handed pitching admirably when given the opportunity. He is 3-5 with a homerun off of southpaws this season after hitting them very well at the minor league level.
The Time To Shine
Now seems to be the perfect time for him to get his playing time. AJ Pollack has 4 hits in his last 25 at-bats and has struck out 6 times in that span. Rest Pollock and give Verdugo some time to shine. The kid is ready for it, and now is the time.
Dodgers’ outfielders are hitting a combined 305 with twenty homeruns and 58 runs batted in on the season.
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