With Yasiel Puig returning from the disabled list before Wednesday night’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Los Angeles Dodgers were forced to send one of their young players back to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
The candidates were Tim Locastro, Max Muncy and Alex Verdugo. They opted to go with their top position prospect, Verdugo, who was playing just about every day while Puig was out due to hip and foot injuries.
There wasn’t a clear path to playing time for Verdugo with Puig coming back and regaining his starting right field job. Therefore, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts felt he would be best served playing on a daily basis with Oklahoma City, via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
“He’s obviously a part of what we’re doing,” Roberts said of Verdugo. “He came up because of an injury, but to have him playing every day makes a lot of sense. Want him playing every day, not just be a bat off the bench.”
Verdugo saw his first Major League action last year as a September call-up, but this season was his first real opportunity to get consistent at-bats at the big league level.
In nine games, Verdugo hit .265/.306/.382 with four doubles, four runs scored and an RBI. He did a little bit of everything in that short span, flashing some leather, showing off his outstanding arm, making plays on the basepaths and at the plate.
Depending on how the season goes for the Dodgers, there is a good chance that Verdugo is back up with the big league club at some point in the coming weeks or months. Especially since he proved that he is a capable of contributing at such a young age.