Is Alex Verdugo becoming a distraction for the Red Sox?

Boston Red Sox v Cleveland Guardians
Boston Red Sox v Cleveland Guardians / Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages

Two weeks ago, Red Sox right fielder Alex Verdugo was benched by manager Alex Cora for allegedly arriving to the park two hours before first pitch in a game against the Blue Jays. Earlier in June, Cora also benched Verdugo for his lack of hustle.

Last night against the Astros, Verdugo was ejected from the game in the fourth inning for barking at home plate umpire, Pat Hoberg.

The Red Sox dugout, specifically Cora, expressed their frustration with Hoberg and the strike zone all night. The drama commenced in the second inning when Cora was visibly upset with opposing pitcher Justin Verlander, after it appeared he ran down the pitch clock. Questionable calls ensued and the strike zone remained a hot button topic throughout the night, ultimately resulting in the ejections of both Verdugo and Cora.

When asked about his ejection in his post-game interview, Verdugo said Hoberg was "being soft," per

"I’m sitting on the bench. Like so many people don’t know what happened. That’s why it was frustrating. You’ve got to give a warning and to me, he was being soft. It is what it is, man. It’s one of those things — I feel like personally umpires are protected too much, especially with that. It’s part of their job to be good. And I understand the human error aspect of it and you’re not going to get every call. But don’t be so sensitive when we let you know our side of it. You know what I mean? That’s baseball. Have a little bit of tougher skin and deal with it."

Alex Verdugo via MassLive

Is Alex Verdugo becoming a distraction for the Red Sox?

Verdugo was not the only person in the Red Sox dugout upset with the way the game was being called last night, but in a pivotal contest against the Astros after having already dropped the opener with the Wild Card window quickly shrinking, could the Red Sox really afford to lose their leadoff hitter and right fielder in such a spot?

Whether Verdugo was justified in being upset, his ejection from last night's game, along with his other recent issues on and off the field, raises the question if Verdugo is now officially a distraction for the Sox.

The Red Sox were reportedly open to the idea of dealing Verdugo at the trade deadline. After not being moved, questions still lingered around whether or not Verdugo appears to be part of the Red Sox long-term future or not.

Is Alex Verdugo's play worth his distractions to the Red Sox

In 113 games this season, Verdugo is hitting .273/.341/.427/.768. He has nine home runs, 46 RBI, and is second on the Red Sox in doubles with 32 behind only Jarren Duran. Verdugo leads the team in triples with four. He also plays a great right field. Despite having respectable numbers, his maturity and leadership qualities remain in question at a time when the Red Sox need all hands on deck if they have any hopes of playing postseason baseball in 2023.

Verdugo has been a pivotal part of the Red Sox lineup for quite some time, but he may already be far too much of a headache for the organization to tolerate.