Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox

Apr 12, 2023; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder Alex Verdugo (99) looks on against the Tampa Bay Rays during the third inning at Tropicana Field. Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Verdugo isn’t in the lineup for the Red Sox as they wrap up their series in Cleveland against the Guardians on Thursday night. Not because it’s a scheduled day off or because it’s a travel day, but because of a lack of effort.

As first reported by Julian Mack of The Boston Globe, Verdugo is sitting down due to failing to hustle on a play in the seventh inning of the Sox’s 5-2 Wednesday night loss.

  • The play in question came with two outs and Verdugo on first base. At the time, the Red Sox trailed 5-2.

    On the first pitch of his at-bat, Masataka Yoshida softly grounded a ball to second base. It took a while for Guardians second baseman Josh Naylor to get to, causing a rushed and off-target throw to the second base bag.

    Despite that, Verdugo had let up in the basepath. Had he been running full speed, he likely would have beaten the throw out. Manager Alex Cora pulled him from the game after that.

  • According to Mack, Verdugo declined to speak to reporters before Thursday’s game. Rob Refsnyder will start in his place in right field.

    So far this season Verdugo had played in 59 games – which was tied with Rafael Devers and Justin Turner (who will pass him Thursday night) for the most on the Red Sox. His .286 average ranks second on the team among qualified hitters, and he’s hit three home runs with 22 RBIs.

    The Red Sox and Guardians will get underway at 7:10 p.m. from Progressive Field. Matt Dermody – who already had his share of controversy on Thursday – will get the start for the Sox opposite Aaron Civale of Cleveland.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at [email protected].

Sign me up for the 98.5 The Sports Hub email newsletter!

Get the latest Boston sports news and analysis, plus exclusive on-demand content and special giveaways from Boston's Home for Sports, 98.5 The Sports Hub.

By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.