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#pounditSaturday, November 27, 2021

Alex Verdugo pushing Red Sox to let him pursue ambitious pitching goal

Boston Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo has taken big steps forward this season, but he’s eyeing something even more ambitious for 2022.

Verdugo and manager Alex Cora both said Friday that Verdugo wants to become a two-way player. Verdugo pitched in high school and said he intends to give it a shot, but Cora sounded pretty firmly against it.

This is pretty ambitious, especially from someone like Verdugo. He has yet to really establish himself as a middle-of-the-order hitter for the Red Sox. As long as that remains the case, they’d probably prefer he focus on that instead of pitching. While valuable, he’s not likely to become Shohei Ohtani at any point when you consider Ohtani’s remarkable exploits.

Verdugo hit .289 with 13 home runs this season, and the 25-year-old still has room to grow. His ambition is admirable, but it’s obvious why the Red Sox aren’t really going to be supportive.

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