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Verdugo's rehab progress 'stagnant right now'

@kengurnick
September 7, 2019

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers infielder Max Muncy could return from his broken right wrist by next Friday in New York, but outfielder Alex Verdugo’s rehab from lower back soreness has stalled, manager Dave Roberts said Saturday. “He’s still taking swings, but as far as the progression, we’re kind of stagnant

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers infielder Max Muncy could return from his broken right wrist by next Friday in New York, but outfielder Alex Verdugo’s rehab from lower back soreness has stalled, manager Dave Roberts said Saturday.

“He’s still taking swings, but as far as the progression, we’re kind of stagnant right now,” said Roberts, who was then asked if he still feels Verdugo can be ready for the postseason. “I do right now. But the calendar is not stopping. I don’t see him active on this next trip. So, you sort of do the math, we just have to get him back to health and right now he’s not there.”

Verdugo went on the injured list a month ago with a right oblique strain, but he also suffered a flare-up of a back issue that first surfaced in May in Tampa Bay and that is now the primary injury.

Muncy suffered a wrist fracture when hit by a pitch Aug. 28.

“He’s taking swings in the cage off pitchers,” said Roberts. “He’s taking grounders. The next progression is to take batting practice on the field.”

• Roberts named Ross Stripling to start on Wednesday in Baltimore. Stripling is 4-4 with a 3.42 ERA as a swingman, with 13 starts and 15 relief appearances. He has a 3.38 ERA as a starter and 3.57 ERA as a reliever.

• Roberts said he “heard about” Clayton Kershaw’s dugout tantrum after being removed in the fifth inning Friday night. Kershaw kicked a mini-cooler.

“He was frustrated and took it out on the cooler,” said Roberts. “His foot’s fine. Cooler still on the IL.”

• The Dodgers on Saturday honored in pregame ceremonies 3-year-old Jazmin Diaz and her family in recognition of Childhood Cancer Awareness Night. Jazmin is undergoing cancer treatment at UCLA Health. Jazmin's father, Luiz, was also diagnosed with cancer as a teen and has been in remission for more than 10 years thanks to UCLA Health. Luiz is a lifelong Dodgers fan.

The Dodgers also visited pediatric cancer patients at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital, where they teamed up with UCLA Health and the BeYOUtiful Foundation to host a beauty event attended by Matt Beaty, Justin Turner, Joc Pederson, Will Smith and Stripling. Multiple makeover stations were set up, along with arts and crafts, pop-a-shot games, air hockey, table tennis and T-ball for the kids. The event incorporated beauty treatments, including makeup application, nail polishing, hair trimming and styling along with booths for hair donation, wig fitting and haircuts.

MLB recognized childhood cancer awareness in all ballparks Saturday, with all on-field personnel, including players, coaches, umpires and grounds crew members, wearing gold ribbon decals and wristbands during all games.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.