Alex Verdugo, admittedly, is playing banged up this year.
The Red Sox outfielder has played in 45 of Boston’s 49 games, but missed a handful of them to deal with some hamstring tightness along the way. Most recently, he exited Friday’s win over the Philadelphia Phillies before sitting out Saturday and coming in to pinch hit Sunday.
Boston manager Alex Cora has assured the ailment is nothing serious, but Verdugo thinks realistically that he won’t be completely healthy all season.
“I don’t think I’ll be 100 percent for the rest of the year,” Verdugo said Wednesday in his pregame media availability ahead of the Red Sox’s game against the Braves. “It’s just one of those things and it has nothing to do with my hamstrings. That’s just a normal grind of 162 games. We play every single day. We’re not unlike other sports where you get a few days off here to maybe recover or help get these back. Every day is a grind, every day you’re dealing with something new or whatever and just go through it. I’ll take 90 percent, I’ll take 85 percent, take all that.”
Verdugo shared that the hamstring tightness came as result of another injury. The 25-year-old had “something going on” with his right calf, and in the batter’s box, was trying to overcompensate with his left leg while swinging.
He also put his trust in the Red Sox’s medical staff to help manage it all.
“I just feel like I got to be cautious with it,” Verdugo said. “There’s certain things, certain plays, you know, when I’m running or things like that maybe I shut it down just a little bit early to kind of preserve that, you know, something like that. Obviously, you got to beat out a double play, you got to push it a little bit and and try to try to beat it out. But for me, it’s kind of like learning my spots and just playing through it because at the end day you got to be in there to play. When you’re in there every day, you get your timing, all that stuff, you got to stick with it. You got to play every single day. So you know if you’re kind of getting taken out or having a day or two off here and there, it’s hard to get into a rhythm, and it’s hard to stay hot and stay how you are. For me it’s just getting my treatment, doing my activation, doing my workout stuff and making sure that my whole body’s firing. And then going out there and playing hard, but also just playing smart, knowing when to open up and when to shut it down just a little bit.”
Verdugo is back in the lineup Wednesday as Boston looks to tie a two-game series with Atlanta, batting second and playing left.
First pitch is 7:10 p.m. ET on NESN.
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