APRIL 5: The D-backs announced that Pollock underwent surgery today and had a plate placed at the tip of his right elbow as part of the procedure (links to Twitter). Per the announcement, there is no projected timetable for Pollock’s return.
APRIL 2: There hasn’t been any timeline provided on Pollock’s return, but Pollock himself says he hopes to come back at some point this season, MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert writes (Twitter links). Also, Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale says Owings will likely start in center field on Opening Day.
APRIL 1: Diamondbacks center fielder A.J. Pollock will undergo surgery for a fractured right elbow, the club announced. Pollock suffered the injury sliding into home in tonight’s spring action.
Pollock has emerged as one of the game’s least-known premium performers, and his loss represents an enormous blow to the organization’s hopes to challenge for a division title in 2016. It’s unclear how long he’ll be out, but any significant stretch would be nothing short of devastating for a club that had pushed in its chips but still needed some things to go its way to contend.
The 28-year-old had already dealt with some elbow issues this spring, but seemed to be on track for Opening Day. But the injury is all the more concerning given that Pollock missed all of 2010 with a fractured growth plate in the same elbow, back when he was still a rising prospect.
Pollock had a short but highly promising 2014 season, and followed up with an outstanding campaign last year. He ended the season with a .315/.367/.498 slash over 673 plate appearances while contributing twenty home runs and 39 steals. And Pollock also rated as a top-notch defender, making for an overall package — valued last year at 7.4 rWAR and 6.6 fWAR — that is all but impossible to replace, particularly with the season set to begin in a matter of days.
Even as the D-Backs set out to re-make their rotation this winter, they understandably remained entirely unwilling to part with Pollock. Instead, the club explored long-term extension talks before ultimately settling on a two-year, $10.25MM pact. He is still controllable for one more season after that contract concludes.
While the club held onto Pollock, it parted with the emergent Ender Inciarte (and other notable assets) to acquire Shelby Miller. Certainly, Inciarte would be an invaluable depth option to have on hand now, though the club does have interesting youngster in Socrates Brito on hand. He had already challenged for a roster spot and looked to be an option if Yasmany Tomas does not take a step forward, but may need to take on a bigger role while Pollock recovers.
Other options for playing time include young slugger Peter O’Brien and even infielder Chris Owings — who slid into the corner outfield for some action tonight. Utilityman Rickie Weeks and backup catcher/outfielder Chris Herrmann could also help carry the load. Of course, none of those players look like options in center, and Tomas is already stretched in the corner outfield. Presumptive left fielder David Peralta has played in 15 MLB games up the middle over the last two years, though he was almost exclusively a corner option in the minors; he could conceivably take over if the team isn’t confident enough in Brito, or at least make some starts there in some kind of timeshare.
Of course, a veteran addition of some kind can’t be ruled out, and plenty of players could be available as rosters continue to be trimmed. (Veterans in the mold of Sam Fuld and Drew Stubbs come to mind; Alejandro De Aza of the Mets seems at least a hypothetical option, though Arizona may already have pushed its payroll to the max.) Trade efforts at this stage are not terribly likely to result in a high-quality solution, but the right player could at least help hold down the fort while the D-Backs await Pollock’s return.
If Kevin Towers was here this wouldn’t be an issue with his obsession of outfielders
Do you think O’Brien will break camp with the team now?
Either O’Brien or Brito, it potentially might not as big a loss, but also might be.
If Kevin Towers was GM he probably would’ve already traded Pollock for Pedro Alvarez or someone of that ilk
And we’d never go hungry with all the grinders he brought to AZ.
Wow. The D-Backs are going to feel that one for sure. They still have a few chips on the farm though. Maybe Stewart can trade the rest of their prospects to the Braves and get Inciarte (sp?) back.
Na, teams don’t really trade a player away only to aquire then again in the span of one offseason. Brito proved himself capable of a starting role in Spring Training so I’d assume they’d put him in
Sarcasm my friend. Nothing more
Sorry, best the Braves can do is Michael Bourn for Shelby Miller, straight up Lol
wow, gonna need Yasmany Tomas to hit now
Socrates Brito to replace?
Should not have played through the pain, his own foolishness
This guy… If he doesn’t play 1738 is calling him Nancy boy for sitting out.
I haven’t seen the clip of the injury yet, but I am wondering exactly how in the world do you fracture your elbow sliding into home? I could see an ankle or a foot or even a wrist on a headfirst slide, but I just don’t see how you fracture an elbow unless the slide was just horrible. Can anyone that saw what happened provide some details?
If you see the video, this makes even less sense. The slide was over, he was in the pushup position and pushed his hands down to stand up, then fell over holding his elbow.
Maybe the damage was already there and this just was the last action that was needed to make it fracture. Pollock has been having elbow issues this spring. Maybe it was worse than they thought & the push was what finally made it go
Not the first time that he has fractured this elbow. He broke it in 2010 and missed the entire season.
Good point, thanks for noting. I added it to the post.
I looked it up, and it’s actually even worse than that. He damaged the growth plate in his elbow, which, if I’m remembering my anatomy courses correctly, is around the epicondyle area. If he redamaged that area, which is where all of the muscles and tendons attach, then he could be facing a huge rehab. This could be like Jarrod Parker’s injury earloer in spring, weakening the bone around this area could be very bad news.
The Dodgers hired Tonya Harding and her goons to rough up Pollock as retaliation for signing Grienke.
His elbow was already injured beforehand.
Ring, Ring….Hello Rockstar?..is B.J Uption available?
Nick Swisher.. For league minimum now is a better bet to produce than is the contract sitting BJ Upton.
Reality wise people getting bog dollars? Bourn, tho the Braves would have to include a tn of cash, Castillo, tho Boston would have to give a bunch also.
Think it’s going to be a fringy player in the end, hopefully somebody better than Cody Ross/De Aza types however.. Stewart might as well roll out some retread.
Think he should be pushing hard at David Murphy myself right now.
Hyun-Soo Kim as an option? I’m sure the Orioles would just give him away at this point.
Why would another team want him? He’s basically a minor league flyer kind of option at this point.
I’ve never seen so many people completely write a guy off after only 44 plate appearances.
Sam Fuld is the perfect choice for the d-backs. Wouldn’t cost much in a C level prospect and can play all 3 outfield positions. Chip Hale knows him from his A’s days. He is on the DL right now but coming off in about 10 days.
Getting rid of Inciarte paying INSTANT dividends!!!
Big, big hit to that team.
I’m a Giants fan, but have greatly enjoyed watching Pollock. For the sake of competitiveness, I hope the D’Backs can find someone to replace him, even if at only 50% of the production.
The Dbacks were not particularly forthright reagarding Pollock’s elbow injury leading up to this fracture, they classified it as a “sore elbow.” They were contemplating putting Pollock on the DL to begin the season. First game back in 3 weeks, pretty clear this elbow fracture was not a coincidence. I suspect he is lost for the year. Brito has the tools, he is going to get his shot.
If I am reading the tea leaves right, in 2010 he damaged his growth plate. Which is between the main bone and the epicondyle. The epicondyle is one of the major attachment points for all of the muscles and whatnot, it is where the ucl attaches, too. It’s a very important area. When he damaged his joint this spring, maybe by straining a ligament, it could have redamaged the old wounded bone. His Mri came up clean, but maybe it was something like microfractures? Something small and difficult to see, maybe scarring from the old injury covered it up (I think they used a screw to fix it, maybe the screw made it hard to see). As he rehabbed, he put more stress on the compromised bone, and in the game he popped again. Every time you break bone, it weakens. If he really is damaging this vital area, it could be very bad news. Jarrod Parker earlier this spring broke his epicondyle for the second time, it is a very bad injury.
Sergelang, good take; sounds reasonable. With respect to whether bone weakens as a result of a break, that is not necessarily true. If a broken bone is properly set and heals properly, you actually produce additional bone and the broken bone can come back stronger. I think there must have been something wrong from the first surgery because the elbow was obviously very brittle–just waiting to break when some stress was applied to it. Let’s hope it gets put back right this time. A lot of things happen at a joint and getting it put back right will be critical. If it is, it will heal.
Losing a ~7 WAR player for the year will end nearly any teams season and its not like the D-backs were even favorites to win their division.
Huge loss and sad. Love Pollock; he is a beast. Hope for the best recovery he can have.
Hang in there AJ best of luck with your recovery. Keep working hard shut up all the haters! These guys kill me!
Ryan Braun is available
Inciarte,Vizcaino & Jace to the Yankees for Gardner and Sanchez the Gardner to the DBacks for Thomas
Sanchez the Gardner? Is that Martha Stewart’s gardner?
That’s not a bad move and helps all sides. Gardner IMO always seemed like an NL type. He too, is oft injured though.
Atlanta giving up a lot for Sanchez, plus end up eating Thomas’ contract. Not helping them much for the cost.
Yeah after second thought and looking deeper I would like Drury back instead of Thomas but also looking in I really think they will give Brito every opportunity to start the season.
As a Yankees fan, hell no. Yanks dont need a 2b/3b (Peterson), Inciarte is a poor man’s version of Gardner and Vizcaino isn’t a real need. And you want the Yankees to throw in a power hitting catching prospect like Sanchez, too? Riiiiiggggghhhttttt.
Inciarte is better than Gardner
No, he has the potential to be but right now no just no, Too many people look at Incirarte’s War and think he is some super star in the making and they forget to look at his career OPS+ of 96, I hope Inciarte can continue to grow but lets wait and see instead of putting him on a pedestal like Jean Segura.
The Braves are ready to help out as usual. How about Arizona gets Ender Inciarte and Michael Bourn for A. J. Pollock and Braden Shipley.
Lol that’s cute. Stick to MLB The Show. That way your trades might actually work for once.
Rays have a ton of OF options (DJ, Guyer, KK, Mahtook, Souza, Dickerson, Pearce, etc) and could use a bullpen arm. Orioles starting LF (acquired from Rays in rule 5 draft) would’ve been 6th or so on Rays OF depth chart. Guyer will be our 4th OF and plays all 3 positions extremely well….he’s also a solid hitter who mashes lefties. I’d imagine he wouldn’t come cheap though.
I feel like Arizona doesn’t want to trade away any more prospects to replace him, so it seems like Swisher, Upton Jr, Kim, or even Victorino could be in play here.
but I could see the three team deal with Atlanta, Ny and Ari that steeler mentioned happening.
idk it will be interesting to see how it goes down
Victorino re-upped with Chicago
How about Michael Bourn and $8Million Cash for LHP Cody Reed.
You do realize that this is NOT that Cody Reed, right?
Yes, it is not that Michael Bourn either. Backs take 6 million of salary for a medium level prospect.
I know, but he wouldn’t cost much in a trade
Honestly, thinking long term, Cave on waivers might not be a bad pick-up. He’s a decent on base option with stellar speed and can play a decent center. Costs $20,000 and won’t be too hard to keep on the roster.
Maybe Bourn and cash for Drury. I would love that deal
Brutal blow. I am a Cubs fan and had the Dbacks winning the west. Hate to see ‘another’ young player get stupid injuries from diving head (hands) first and exposing themselves
Every GM gets faced with 2-5 ‘situations’ per year that swing 5-10 games one way or another. Will be interesting to see what Stewart comes up with. The miller-Greinke window is 2-3 years (Greinke will start to age .. Eventually) and hate to see 1 take a ‘gut punch’
Lots of reasonable options outlined above, but all are just ‘meh’ moves. Hopefully it will only cost the dbacks 3-5 games, but enough to move them from division winners to fighting for wild card
Good luck guys..
Not a Cubs fan… But I like Soler. How about Soler for Bradley?
I would like the trade as a Cubs fan. Both players have the potential to become insane, despite not performing amazing at ml level, but I honestly feel like most would want the Cubs to send more for that
Soler is such a tough read. His (theoretical) upside is massive, but his baseball acumen is similar to yasiel puig (my kids and I joke that soler and puig played for the same travel coach … Which, I guess, since they both came from Cuba in the same era is true).
I am hoping the Indians, Rays or Padres are intrigued (enamored) enough with soler to bundle something around soler. The Cubs have a bunch of strong prospects who they are going to lose (rule 5) if they don’t promote that can be packaged as well (vogelbach, valbuena, szczur, etc).
Not sure if Bradley is the guy if we could get carrasco, odorizzi, Teheran, Ross … Or even try and up the ante by throwing jeimer candelario or even contreras into the fray to try and get sonny grey, archer or kluber..
All foolish dreaming right now. Our pitching staff is ‘scary old’ and we really need a late 20s #2 or #3 (for downstream years).
Net net… I DO think soler is available to be had …
This injury had nothing to do with sliding head first. He hurt his elbow when he was standing up.
True (I couldn’t tell if his elbow ‘tweaked’ when he was sliding across and then the ‘push up’ thing)… Regardless, (Cubs) Javy Baez lost 2 months last year with a head first slide and just went on 15 day DL for the same this year.. Kris Bryant still slides heads first on occasion (yikes!)
I coached to slide feet first (too many bad things can happen with speed fingers immovable objects (anchored base, feet ‘staked’ into the ground sharp objects (corner of the plate, spikes attached to feet) hard objects (knees, shins, etc).
Call me old school (in this regard) which I accept. Just unnecessary risk to me
I wonder if they’d consider playing Chris Owings in CF?
Yes that’s what they’re doing already.
I called it just before they announced it 🙂
Bourn designated for assignment would be a good fit I hope a deal involving Drury coming back could still happen. But probably unlikely even if a deal could be made I am sure somebody the level of Drury wouldn’t be coming back.
Owings is starting opening day. Brito is a CF. Drury might be able to play CF. You are not getting anything for Bourn.
Wow, commenters here are really dreamers…getting Drury for Bourn?, getting Pollock and Shipley for trash, etc., etc. reality check…D’backs have everything under control internally. I know Spring Training means nothing, but D’backs had the highest producing and scoring offense, without Pollock. Next man up will replace Pollock offensively. Admittedly, Pollock’s elite level defense will not be easily replaced, but neither Brito, nor Owings, nor Peralta is a slouch, so D’backs will be fine until Pollock returns, and then will be even better! And for all you wanna-be sabermatics types who have already calculated the number of lost games the D’backs will endure without Pollock, the D’backs will still win 94 games, with or without Pollock.
I agree some of the trade proposals are funny. Bourn and cash can get maybe the 25-30th prospect (but that is also not saying much for the prospect.
But Pollack is a heck of a lot better than stated, if he is out the whole year, 89 games might be the high.
94 with or without him? So Pollock has no impact on the number of games the dbacks win…interesting. How crazy of those trixy “wanna-be sabermetic (it’s sabermetric, btw) types”, thinking that a very good player will result in more wins for a team. Your magic 8-ball future telling win total makes faaaar more sense.
I will also be SHOCKED if the dbacks can win 94 games. Hope you come here to eat your words when they finish the season below that number,
Yeah u are right our trade proposals are rediculous just not as rediculous as your GMs actual deals. 94 games please 3 rd best in that division with the Giants running away with it. Your Greinke/Miller window will close fast just in time for Toki to come up and dominate. Just in time for Dansby’s upteenth all star appearance and for Blair to be very good. Giants wiped your GMs moves right away. And now you are looking up yet again.
Braves could sacrifice Inciarte back to the Backs for a couple newbies or prospects. Help a buddy out. Might even take an injured played who will be ready next year. Already canned Swisher and Bourn so smoke ’em if you got ’em.
I’m sure you’d ask for way too much
Mr. Todd, Owings “even infielder Chris Owings–who slid into the corner outfield for some action tonight”? Check the box score. He placed centerfield last night and he’s starting in centerfield this afternoon. He’s a terrific athlete who will be given the first shot at replacing Pollock.
I know. I know. Don’t put any credence on Spring Training stats or results…but without Pollock for virtually the entire month of Spring Training, the D’backs out scored every other team by a wide margin, and as a team (this is after all a team sport) lead virtually every other offensive category. The offense will not implode because one player is missing. Owings, Brito and Peralta will play next man up and the D’backs offense will be better than last year. What will be hard to replace exactly is Pollock’s elite level defense. Owings, Brito and Peralta are all way above average, so the drop off won’t be severe. And these three are each better than any recently or soon to be released center fielder. The D’backs don’t need to go outside the organization, there is excellent depth within.
And my post clearly stated a package involving Bourn and Drury not straight up maybe some kinda cash involved. Not like Stewart would be willing to sell off a 1st round pick with electric stuff oh wait he already did my bad. Drury is just a prospect with suspect power who happens to be blocked in the 2 positions he plays.
Drury is much more than that. He has considerable gap power and can handle multiple positions. The team considers him one of its key future pieces – no chance he gets moved for Bourn even if Atlanta eats all of that contract. It’s more likely Drury makes our team and plays a considerable amount of time divided amongst 3b, 2b, and LF
I’ll tell you this right now, Drury fits into the D-backs plans and there is absolutely no way, ever, under any circumstance they would trade him for Bourn. That’s not happening.
Why would anyone take on the Bourn albatross? For any package? I wouldn’t take him if you paid his entire salary and threw in Inciarte just to get me to take him off your hands.
When people rely on the national media for their opinions and on sabermetrics, without knowing about a team and its players, they end up with very jaundiced ideas. The D’backs have three viable candidates in house to fill in for Pollock. They can match or nearly match Pollock’s offensive production. Although they can’t match Pollock’s elite defensive prowess in centerfield, they are each way above average defensively, and they are each way above any veteran free agent recently released or about to be released. So, to automatically start speculating about desperation trades, is a sure sign that the commenter knows absolutely nothing about the D’backs and their players.
Who are these three viable candidates to put up a 130+ wRC+ this year?
That would be Socrates Brito, Chris Owings and David Peralta. Brito is the reigning Player of the Year in the D’backs organization. He batted .306 this Spring, is an above average defensive center fielder with speed and some pop in his bat. He compares favorably to Inciarte. Manager Chip Hale announced today that Brito is his starting center fielder most games (against right handed pitching). Owings batted .354 in his final season in AAA and was the Pacific Coast League MVP. He was slowed by a shoulder injury last year (had surgery in 2014 and had to make a big change in his swing, follows through with both hands on the bat now). He’s batting .368 this Spring with power, great athlete, played a flawless centerfield today, Hale announced today that he will start against left handed pitching. Peralta is the other outfielder (besides Pollock and Inciarte) who hit over .300 last year. He played all three outfield positions last year. Above average at all three. Specializes in hitting triples, so that points to his speed. They traded Inciarte instead of Peralta in the off season because Peralta has so much more power, same speed, same defensive ability, hits left handed, will bat 4th behind Goldy. Any other questions?
Yeah. Are you delusional or just in denial?
Brito’s highest wRC+ was 122 in aa. He has 34 mlb plate appearances. Projection – 76
Owings: 92 and 52 over the last 2 years. Projection – 73
Peralta – probably best bet to reach the offense, but he is a negative defender. Projection 12oish.
There were about 25 players in all of baseball that had a 130 wRC+ last year. So you think that these people are going to step in and just all of a sudden become some of the best offensive players in baseball? Guess it’s nice to have dreams.
None of those players are close to stepping in and just filling in the gap of Pollock. Are you just trying to make yourself feel better, or are you underrating Pollock that much?
Peralta can’t play cf, so I’m not sure how you see him as a replacement for him and the other two are just no where near the caliber of player.
You are aware of the fact that sabermetric projections and actual on-field performance can often paint two entirely different pictures. PECOTA and all other projections have the D’backs as a .500 ball club at best this year. But projections often differ from actual results. I think the reigning World Champion KC Royals would be one example in both of the previous two years. One of the weaknesses of statistical projections is that if they can’t gather three solid years of data on a player, then that player is dirt, or rated below replacement value. Therefore, young players, young teams (the D’backs were the second youngest team in baseball last year and will be about that this year), and players who have injury interrupted seasons (see Pollock’ rating before last year’s monstrous season), and this year’s rating on Owings, Lamb, Brito, Drury, etc. are subject to more variability than veterans who have long, consistent track records. Sabermetrics are typically pretty accurate for veterans and much less accurate for young guys. My point is that the D’backs are a very young team, with several players primed for breakout years. I listed 4 above. Of those only Lamb is getting the nod for a possible breakout year in the national press. In actuality, several D’backs will break out this year and shatter your precious projections with actual on-field performance. I’m looking forward to Opening Day and for the season to unfold as it will. I project 94 wins for the D’backs, an NL West crown and an appearance in the 2016 World Series as the NL representative.
Please learn how to separate your thoughts into paragraphs, no one wants to read a straight wall of text.
Yes, I am aware of the shortcomings of the available projection systems, but I think they do a better job of estimating performance than a single person, who doesn’t watch enough of all the players in the MLB play, can possibly do. No they aren’t always right, but neither are fans.
So the jist of your argument is that you think your homer projections are more accurate than the past performances of these players seems to show and widely used projection systems predict? You should go ahead and market that.
“In actuality, several D’backs will break out this year and shatter your precious projections with actual on-field performance.” Which ones? By how much? Will any Dbacks player fail to meet their projection? Will every other team have these breakouts too? Since you can tell the future so well, I’d love to know exactly how every division race will finish. Who gets mvp, cy young, roy?
When they don’t win 94 and don’t make the playoffs, will you own that? How about the rest of the trash you spew as well?
Shows your lack of education
Yo, trademeister, aren’t you the same guy who wanted to trade Bourn for the D’backs Cody Reed, thinking he’s the Cody Reed drafted by the Royals? See post above. For those of you who have as little knowledge of the D’backs as trademeister, the D’backs have a prospect named Cody Reed who is also a left handed pitcher, but he is not the same big left handed pitcher drafted by the Royals.
Chris Owings played centerfield in today’s D’backs win over the Royals. He went 2 for 4, homered, drove in 3 runs, and is hitting .368 this Spring. Just saying. I know Spring Training stats and results mean nothing…or do they? I’m also aware of the fact that most or all of the Royals regulars also hopped a plane for KC and skipped this game. Stats are stats for today.
D’backs have announced that Socrates Brito will start in centerfield against right handers and Chris Owings will start against left handers. So D’backs have centerfield covered very well without taking on the dregs that get cut from other teams this time of year.
Really? Brito and Owings are probably, combined, about as third as valuable as Pollock, who is one of the best players in baseball. The D-Backs “stars and scrubs” approach was a risk anyway, even more so now that one of the stars is done for the year. The D-Backs outfield looks like it will be one of the very worst in baseball.
Except Owings was awful last season, Brito is an unknown commodity, and Pollock was one of the best players in baseball last season. The D-Backs are doing that “stars and scrubs” approach this season, which can work – if the stars stay healthy.
To think this isn’t a big loss… Brito can play. Owings bat probably plays but to think defensively he can play in an NL West spacious ballpark is ludicrous. He’s athletic enough to envision eventually, but it’s going to be an interesting assignment at least this year.