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Thursday, April 2, 2020

Alex Verdugo could open season as Red Sox leadoff hitter

Alex Verdugo

Alex Verdugo has only been a member of the Boston Red Sox for a day or two, but he may already be facing some major responsibility.

Speaking with reporters on Tuesday, newly-named Red Sox interim manager Ron Roenicke mentioned the 23-year-old outfielder as a possible leadoff hitter for the team, per Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe. Roenicke also named fellow outfielder Andrew Benintendi as being in the mix as well.

Verdugo was a centerpiece of the return package that the Red Sox received in their trade of Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers earlier this week. He operated primarily out of the No. 6 or No. 7 spot last season but hit as high as No. 2 in the order for the Dodgers at certain points. Verdugo also posted a strong .342 OBP in 2019, indicating a capability of potentially hitting leadoff.

While Benintendi did get major run as Boston’s leadoff hitter last year, the team could now be asking Verdugo to expand his already vast repertoire.

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