Cleat Geeks

A.J. Pollock has Broken Elbow

After missing three weeks with soreness in his right elbow, A.J.Pollock, the 2015 breakout star returned to the lineup just in time for Arizona’s final spring tune ups at Chase Field.

ajpollockinjuryIn the third inning of Friday’s game, the debut turned into a debacle. Pollock appeared to survive his awkward slide around Royals catcher Salvador Perez without any issues. However, when he planted his right arm to get up it looked as though his right elbow gave out. Pollock will now miss significant time during the regular season.

Based on Pollock’s reaction, it was clear that something was very wrong. Manager Chip Hale then confirmed the news following Arizona’s 7-4 victory, adding that Pollock will require surgery.

Obviously, the diagnosis is not good for Pollock or the Diamondbacks. The 28-year-old outfielder was a shining light last season, hitting .315/.367/.498 with 20 home runs, 39 doubles and 39 steals. Pollock also rated as one of baseball’s top defensive outfielders, which helped earn him his first All-Star selection and firmly established him as a cornerstone player for Arizona.

With Pollock’s value on the rise, virtually every team was making calls all winter about his availability. The Diamondbacks held on tight though, confirming their desire to build a core that includes Pollock, Paul Goldschmidt and the newest and most expensive addition, Zack Greinke.SocratesBrito

Now they’ll have to find a way to fill Pollock’s production for an extended period, which won’t be easy.  The Diamondbacks have 2 immediately viable players to take Pollock’s spot for the short term. They can go with  rookie Socrates Brito who turned some heads for a variety of reasons both on the offense and defensive sides. It’s difficult to know how he’ll handle that though, seeing as he’s only appeared in 18 MLB games. The other option on the docket is the one they did Friday night when Pollock was hurt. They put shortstop Chris Owings is center field. Owings looks to be the odd man out on the Diamondbacks infield group, therefore this may be a way of allowing him to get to make an impression and possibly get a starting job on the 25 man roster as a 4th or 5th outfielder.

Chris Owings Photo by: Charlie Leight/The Arizona Republic

Chris Owings Photo by: Charlie Leight/The Arizona Republic

Arizona could also look to the trade market depending on Pollock’s timetable to return. Again though, that’s not likely to make a great impact. Any way you look at it, this is a worst-case scenario at the absolute worst time that will unquestionably challenge Arizona’s resolve.

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