Red Sox outfielder Verdugo says he's physically 100 per cent


Whenever the 2020 Major League Baseball season begins, new Boston Red Sox starting right fielder Alex Verdugo says he will be ready. 

"Physically, I'm 100 percent," Verdugo said on a conference call on Monday. "I feel very good. Just moving around with everything, my swing, my throwing, running, I feel really good.

"Whenever the season starts, I think I'll be ready. Whether that is soon, whether it's a few months down the road, or whatever they may be, I think physically I'm ready."

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Verdugo, the centrepiece of Boston's trade that sent Mookie Betts and David Price to the Los Angeles Dodgers, was originally slated to miss the first four-to-six weeks of the season while recovering from a stress fracture in his spine.

He hit .294 with 12 home runs, 22 doubles and 44 RBIs in 106 games last season before the Dodgers shut him down with the back injury. 

With the coronavirus pandemic pushing back the start of the season, however, Verdugo stayed near the Red Sox's spring training facility in Fort Myers, Florida to rehab and work out. 

"I still stayed active at home," Verdugo said. "I was hitting, throwing a little bit and working out. Obviously didn't have the amount of resources I do at the facility."

Verdugo, who turns 24 on May 15, was able to return to the training complex last week, and believes he may be ahead of other players who have been at home in isolation when it comes to baseball-related activities. 

"I think what it would take a normal player is what it would take me, maybe even less now, because I'm already doing everything," he said.

"The thing I can tell you guys is that no matter what happens I'm training every single day. I'm putting in the work as if there is going to be a season.

"I'm going to keep preparing and training and keeping my mind sharp so I'm already mentally locked in and physically ready to go for it."

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