A.J. Pollock (Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports)
Can A. J. Pollock stay healthy?
When center fielder A. J. Pollock went down with a fractured right elbow just before last season began, the domino effect started. Chris Owings, a shortstop by trade, was rushed into centerfield, but the Diamondbacks missed Pollock’s lead-off quality, leadership in the clubhouse and character on the bench.
By late season, Pollock recovered, returned to the line-up in late August but managed to play in only 12 games. On Sept. 9, he went down again and this time the malady was an injured left groin. That sidelined Pollock for the rest of last season and he aggravated that groin injury in mid-March during a spring game against the San Francisco Giants.
Should Pollock go down for any considerable period of time, manager Torey Lovullo will likely be forced to use creative methods in order to find a creditable lead-off hitter.
On the verge of the season ahead, Pollock told Venom Strikes he feels ready to go and injury-free. The issue with Pollock remains his durability. With a history of elbow issues and now a groin, Pollock’s health looms as an important variable in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ quest to gain respectability and elevation through the NL West.
At the same time, his position as lead-off hitter is important. The Arizona Diamondbacks were able to replace Pollock at the top of the order a year ago with Jean Segura, who turned in a terrific offensive season. Should Pollock go down for any considerable period of time, manager Torey Lovullo will likely be forced to use creative methods in order to find a good lead-off hitter.