Dodgers News: Alex Verdugo Details Frustration That Came With Season-Ending Back Injury
Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Alex Verdugo in the dugout at Chase Field
Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports

One of the biggest surprises for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2019 was the emergence of rookie outfielder Alex Verdugo. After a solid spring, Verdugo made the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster for the first time in his career.

He began the season as the team’s fourth outfielder, but when A.J. Pollock went down with an injury in April, Verdugo moved into a starting role and never looked back.

In 106 games, he hit .294/.342/.475 with 22 doubles, 12 home runs, 43 runs scored and 44 RBI. Unfortunately, Verdugo went down with a back injury at the beginning of August and never recovered.

The issue was not expected to be season-ending, but the 23-year-old suffered some setbacks in his rehab and ultimately was never activated off the 10-day injured list.

The Dodgers held out hope that he would be able to return for the postseason but his back never progressed to the point that he could return to the field and L.A. was defeated by the Washington Nationals in the National League Division Series to mark a disappointing end to their season.

Now that the offseason is in full swing, Verdugo is continuing to rehab his back with hopes that he will be ready for Opening Day in 2020. He has not yet been able to begin baseball activities, however, and he recently discussed how frustrating this back injury has been for him, as seen on SportsNet LA:

“Yeah, I think there’s a lot of frustration. But at the end of the day it’s your back. I think anybody who’s had back injuries or something wrong with their back, they understand you use everything with your back. Any activity you do, your back helps you with a lot of it. You kind of do one little thing and you realize the toll it takes on everything else. It is frustrating but at the end of the day all I can do is stay positive and be blessed that I’m going in the right direction.”

Back injuries are especially tricky to rehab as one wrong move can delay a return. It is good to see that Verdugo is keeping a positive mindset though with his sights on being ready for Opening Day.

The Dodgers still have a lot of question marks surrounding their roster going into 2020, but if Verdugo is healthy and looking like his early self from this past season, he will likely slot in as one of the team’s starting outfielders.

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