Red Sox's Alex Verdugo Says He'll Be Ready for Season After Back Injury

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMay 5, 2020

FT. MYERS, FL - FEBRUARY 18: Alex Verdugo #99 of the Boston Red Sox runs during a team workout on February 18, 2020 at jetBlue Park at Fenway South in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

If there is a 2020 Major League Baseball season, the Boston Red Sox will likely have outfielder Alex Verdugo in their lineup when it begins. 

Speaking to reporters on a conference call, Verdugo said he feels healthy and ready to play when games start back up. 

"Whenever the season is, I think I'll be ready," he said. "If they say that we're ready to go, then I'm out there."

Even before being one of the central pieces in the Mookie Betts trade, Verdugo was dealing with a back injury he suffered during a rehab assignment last August with the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

"It's a lot of frustration, but all I can do is stay positive," Verdugo told MLB.com's Ken Gurnick in January. I'm going in the right direction. My goal is going to be starting Opening Day. We'll just see how the days and weeks go and how I recover."

The Red Sox acquired Verdugo, who turns 24 on May 15, from the Dodgers in February. He revealed on Feb. 15 that the injury was an L5 stress fracture in his back, which Boston knew about it prior to making the deal after reviewing his medical information. 

The MLB regular season was supposed to begin on March 26, but play has been suspended since March 12 because of the coronavirus pandemic. It's unclear at this point if—or when—the 2020 season might begin. 

Last season was Verdugo's first full year in the big leagues. The Arizona native, who played all three outfield positions last year, hit .294/.342/.475 with 12 homers and 44 RBI in 106 games for the Dodgers.