The Los Angeles Dodgers called up several players from Triple-A Oklahoma City once active rosters expanded this month, with none arriving more heralded than Alex Verdugo. He’s the organization’s top hitting prospect and was thought to have a chance at making the postseason roster.
Verdugo started in each of his first four games with the Dodgers, but has since appeared in just five of the last 12 games. Each of those have come off the bench. Although a start in Friday’s series opener against the Washington Nationals wasn’t expected, Verdugo didn’t help his cause.
The 21-year-old was a late arrival to Nationals Park, which was met with a tongue-lashing from veteran Rich Hill that Dodgers manager Dave Roberts didn’t have any quarrel with, according to Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group
Almost immediately after his late arrival, the young outfielder was approached by veteran left-hander Rich Hill, who dressed down the September call-up in front of his locker.
“That’s the way it should be,” Roberts said of the veteran’s initiative.
At the time of voicing his support of Hill’s leadership, Roberts had not spoken with Verdugo. That came later, and young outfielder apologized to his manager for oversleeping, via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
“We had a conversation and he was very apologetic and he understands he let the team down,” Roberts said. “It won’t happen again, he assured me, but it’s part of the learning curve. He’s a young player, first time in the big leagues and he’s trying to do the right thing.”
The mishap comes with a player who was pegged for a lack of discipline and work ethic. In his first interview upon joining the Dodgers, Verdugo admitted to growing up and learning this season while with Oklahoma City.
Even with some of the question marks, Verdugo was a hot commodity at the non-waiver trade deadline. Though, the Dodgers had him among the prospects they largely refused to part with in any scenarios.