For Dodgers’ Alex Verdugo, three-game series in Mexico will be a family affair

first_imgUrías won’t be the most in-demand Dodger either. Neither he nor Verdugo enjoys the celebrity status of Fernando Valenzuela, whose breakthrough season in 1981 remains the stuff of legend on both sides of the border. Now an analyst on the Dodgers’ local Spanish-language telecasts, Valenzuela is going on the trip too.For Verdugo, less attention might be a good thing. He’s getting a long run in the Dodgers’ outfield with Yasiel Puig on the disabled list. Unlike Urías or Valenzuela, Verdugo might have to play 27 innings this weekend.Valenzuela and Urías were also born and raised in Mexico, fluent in Spanish. Verdugo, who was born and raised in Tucson is not.Tucson is 113 miles southeast of Phoenix. While Verdugo is playing in his home state this week, he said he hasn’t had a chance to talk with family face-to-face about the importance of the Mexico trip, only exchange calls and texts.Sign up for our Inside the Dodgers newsletter. Be the best Dodger fan you can be by getting daily intel on your favorite team. Subscribe here.Last year, Verdugo represented Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. If his parents’ reaction to that experience was any indication, this weekend will be a big deal in the Verdugo household too. “You could just tell from the look in their eyes that they loved it,” he said, “that they were extremely proud of me.”INJURY UPDATESPitcher Tom Koehler isn’t close to making his Dodgers debut, but the right-hander has begun throwing from a distance of 75 feet, Manager Dave Roberts said. Koehler is on the 60-day disabled list with a shoulder injury and cannot be reinstated before May 28.Infielder Logan Forsythe (shoulder) remains on track to begin a minor league rehabilitation assignment soon, possibly this weekend. Where his rehab will begin and how long he will need remains to be determined, Roberts said.Puig (ankle, hip) is on track to return from his 10-day DL stint Tuesday in Los Angeles.ALSORain isn’t expected to be an issue when the Dodgers fly to Monterrey, but it could threaten all three games. The league said any make-up games would take place in San Diego. The Padres are designated as the home team for the series. …The Dodgers’ probable starters: Walker Buehler (Friday), Kenta Maeda (Saturday) and Rich Hill (Sunday). Buehler would need to be recalled from Class-A Rancho Cucamonga, and Hill would need to be activated from the 10-day DL. …Ross Stripling, who started Monday’s bullpen game in Phoenix, will return to the ’pen for now. Roberts said he could be an option as early as Thursday.UP NEXTDodgers (LHP Alex Wood, 0-3, 4.11 ERA) at Diamondbacks (LHP Patrick Corbin, 4-0, 2.25 ERA), (no blackout), 12:40 p.m.Related Articles Dodgers bench slumping Cody Bellinger for a day Dodgers’ Dave Roberts says baseball’s unwritten rules ‘have changed, should change’ Dodgers’ hot-hitting Corey Seager leaves game with back injury PHOENIX — Alex Verdugo, media darling?Verdugo’s welcome-to-the-big-leagues moment – at least his 2018 debut – arrived at an interesting time. The Dodgers and San Diego Padres are playing three games in Monterrey, Mexico beginning Friday. Now, less than a week after Verdugo was called up from Triple-A, the 21-year-old rookie is enjoying unusual attention during the Dodgers’ series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He is the team’s only active player of Mexican descent.“There’s going to be a lot of emotions going through,” Verdugo said. “My family’s going to be out there so it’s definitely going to be a great experience.”The attention will soon shift. Pitcher Julio Urías is flying out with the team on Thursday. The 21-year-old isn’t on the Dodgers’ roster while he recovers from shoulder surgery, but Urías is a familiar name among Mexican baseball fans. That’s why the Dodgers scheduled him to take part in the team’s media events in Monterrey. Dodgers’ Justin Turner looking rejuvenated on defense Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Whicker: Dustin May yet another example of the Dodgers’ eye for pitching last_img