Boston Red Sox are hopeful Alex Verdugo finally breaks out in 2023
No one knows what to expect from the 2023 Boston Red Sox. The roster looks a bit empty on paper with the glaring departures of All-Stars Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez. But roster depth is significantly better due to some short-term acquisitions, as is the bullpen.
One thing that is certain in 2023 is that the Red Sox desperately needs a formidable season out of outfielder Alex Verdugo.
Did an early injury play a role in Verdugo’s slow start to 2022?
Verdugo is coming off a solid 2022 campaign where he slashed .280 /.328 /.405 with 11 home runs and 74 RBIs. But he finished 2022 really well, mainly because he had to.
If you think back to the start of the 2022 season, Verdugo started off extremely slow, and there was quite a lot of buzz regarding the fact that he couldn’t get it going, and the numbers reflected that. In May of 2022, Verdugo hit just .219 with no long balls and 14 strikeouts to just four walks.
But according to his brother and some recent reports, there may be a reason why Alex got off to such a sluggish start. This week, Chris Verdugo tweeted that his brother was dealing with a fractured toe for the first two months of the 2022 season. And if you look back, he did miss a few games with what was called a “right foot contusion,” even though x-rays reportedly came back negative.
If the injury report is accurate, the numbers reflect that it absolutely played a part in Verdugo and his less-than-desirable start to the 2022 season. Because he really got it going in June and in the second half.
In June 2022, Verdugo hit .337 with 3 home runs and 19 RBIs. He finished the second half of the 2022 season by slashing .304/ .356/ .448 with 5 long balls and 26 RBIs.
Supposing the 2023 Red Sox have any aspirations of adding to their 2022 win total and making the playoffs, they will need an incredibly impactful Alex Verdugo to drive in and score runs, helping bolster the middle-to-back half of the Red Sox lineup.
They need him to be the Alex Verdugo the Red Sox front office anticipated they were getting back in the Mookie Betts deal.