Alex Verdugo is “All Systems Go”

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The Major League Baseball season is officially going to happen and when Opening Day rolls around on either July 23 or 24, the Red Sox newest acquisition Alex Verdugo will be ready.  Verdugo has been battling back from a stress fracture in his lower back that derailed him from the tradition Spring Training earlier this year. 

Photo courtesy of bosoxinjection.com
The announcement of Spring Training 2.0 will kick off from Fenway Park on July 1 and it has the Boston fan base excited to see the Red Sox this season.  While we as fans will not be able to watch the Red Sox from Fenway for this second Spring Training, it is exciting to see the players back out there.  The new Red Sox outfield Verdugo will have many eyes on him this season as he will patrol right field and fans will be hoping for a complete bill of health.  Red Sox Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom said on a Zoom call this week that Verdugo “should be all systems go”. 
“With the caveat that we are going to be ramping people up in a fairly short period of time (three weeks), we want to make sure we do not take any shortcuts with him (Verdugo).”  What “all systems go” will look like will be interesting because Verdugo will have to not only prove he’s healthy but like it or not, fans will forever link him to Mookie Betts because he was the centerpiece in the return for the former Sox star. 

The Red Sox will surely need a healthy Verdugo for this season to compliment this lineup because on paper the pitching staff looks rather underwhelming.  Last season for the Dodgers he hit .294 with 12 home runs, 44 RBI with 101 hits in 106 games.  Verdugo is not expecting to fill the huge void that Betts’ bat will leave in the Red Sox lineup, that will be a full top to bottom effort.  They will need Verdugo on the field for the better part of the entire season no matter how long it is in 2020. 

Verdugo has been putting in the work while away from the team and it has been showcased on his personal Instagram account.  Red Sox fans who follow Verdugo have seen him go from hitting off a tee, full cage swings to even pitching in the cage.  It’s clear, the kid is ready to play and ready to showcase the player he will become in Boston. 

Red Sox fans should temper the expectations for Verdugo and let him play before quickly judging him.  I don’t expect him to be a huge home run threat; does he have the ability to pop 25 dingers in a season?  Absolutely.  I don’t think his game is to be that type of player every season, which will be tough for some Red Sox fans to accept because of the player he was traded for.  According to an article from BoSox Injection, one writer compared Verdugo more to Astros outfielder Michael Brantley. 

I wouldn’t be upset with that comp, but many are looking for another carbon copy of Betts and that just was never realistic from a trade return standpoint.  Red Sox fans will also want to see how the other players in the return for Betts turn out as well.  While it feels like a long shot that Connor Wong and Jeter Downs will see any time this season, it is very possible with the expanded rosters for teams to give clubs protection for potential COVID-19 cases during the season. 

At the end of the day, I want to see Verdugo become the best player he can be for the Red Sox.  Until then, Bloom says Verdugo is “all systems go” and that starts to get me excited for this upcoming and untraditional Red Sox season. 



Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisHenrique

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Boston Sports Syndicate: Alex Verdugo is “All Systems Go”
Alex Verdugo is “All Systems Go”
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