A.J. Pollock is proof that talent isn’t enough when you can’t stay healthy for extended periods of time.
On Monday afternoon, the Arizona Diamondbacks placed oft-injured center fielder A.J. Pollock on the 10-day disabled list with what the team called a “right groin strain”. Pollock left Sunday’s loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 10th inning after a single that put him on base as the potential tying run.
The 2015 All-Star has had consistent problems with groin soreness recently, as a strain on the left side affected Pollock toward the end of the 2016 season and caused him to miss games during Spring Training this year.
And all this came after an elbow injury that forced him to miss all but 12 games last season.
The Diamondbacks promoted center fielder Raymond Fuentes from Triple-A Reno on Monday to make up for the loss of Pollock. He will start on Monday night as Arizona hosts the New York Mets, occupying Pollock’s leadoff spot and manning center field. To make room for Fuentes, reliever Enrique Burgos was designated for assignment.
Pollock will be available for reinstatement soon, but his track record is reason for concern. In 2014, he was hit in the right hand by then-Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto and played only 75 games. His career-high for games played came in 2015, when Pollock managed to get through 157 games and make his only All-Star appearance.
The Diamondbacks, who are 21-18 and a half game out of a Wild Card spot early in the season, could use Pollock’s services. He was a 7.2 win player in 2015, and has posted a OPS of .792 in 37 games this year. Without him, Arizona is relying on Fuentes and backup Gregor Blanco, another player who started the year in the minors, as their center fielders.
Unfortunately, the Diamondbacks have become accustomed to operating without their talented center fielder. They’ll be hoping this latest injury doesn’t keep Pollock out long, as they make a push to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2011.