When rosters officially expand for all 30 MLB teams on Sunday, the Los Angeles Dodgers are expected to benefit with the returns of multiple key players. Among those slated to rejoin the team are David Freese, Ross Stripling and Austin Barnes.
One player that will remain on the outside looking in when the calendar turns to September is Alex Verdugo, who continues working his way back from a right oblique strain sustained during the first week of August.
The 23-year-old is still feeling the effects of the injury, but nevertheless has made progress toward a potential return.
Though he was slow to resume baseball activities, Verdugo has ramped up his workload in recent days at Camelback Ranch, advancing from hitting off a tee to taking overhand tosses while additionally throwing.
Now he’s slated to begin a rehab assignment with Rookie-level Ogden for one week and will then join the Dodgers, per Alanna Rizzo of SportsNet LA:
— Alanna Rizzo (@alannarizzo) August 31, 2019
Verdugo has been sidelined since Aug. 5 after being scratched from the Dodgers lineup due to back soreness. While there was an initial belief he would not require a stint on the 10-day injured list, the rookie was ultimately put on the shelf the following day with a right oblique strain.
Although Sept. 1 was pegged as the earliest date Verdugo could rejoin the Dodgers, it was always more likely he would return to the team during the first or second week of the month.
In 106 games this season, Verdugo is batting a solid .294/.342/.475 with 22 doubles, two triples, 12 home runs and 44 RBI over 377 plate appearances.
Other players that could eventually find their way back to the Dodgers include Kristopher Negrón, Max Muncy and Tyler White. Top prospect Gavin Lux will also join the team, though it is unclear if he’ll receive any playing time.