Diamondbacks center fielder A.J. Pollock departed last night’s game following an ugly-looking arm injury suffered on a diving attempt at a catch. The preliminary diagnosis is a sprain of his left thumb, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports.
While that sounds promising at first glance, it’s probably worth waiting to breathe a sigh of relief. Pollock still must undergo further examination, including a trip to a hand specialist today. And as Piecoro notes, the fact that this is initially being termed a sprain indicates the major concern may be with ligaments — potentially making this a fairly serious injury that could require a significant absence.
At this point, we just don’t know and the team likely does not either. As manager Torey Lovullo said late last night when asked about the possibility of losing the star center fielder, “I don’t even want to get there until we know what’s going on tomorrow.”
It has already been a rough go of late for the D-Backs, who have now dropped six straight games. Despite the skid, the Snakes are still pacing the NL West. But their ability to stay there will be affected greatly by Pollock’s ultimate absence.
To this point, Pollock has clearly been the Diamondbacks’ best player. He has played an excellent center field, run the bases well, and delivered an outstanding .293/.349/.620 output at the plate — with 11 homers and nine steals — to this point of the season. There’s no realistic hope of replacing that kind of productivity.
The injury is certainly also concerning from Pollock’s perspective. As I wrote recently, his big output had put him on track to secure a major payday in free agency. But health has long been the major concern with the 30-year-old. While this latest injury was the result of hard play rather than any evident susceptibility, it adds to a list of other past ailments and — if it turns out to be serious — will also reduce Pollock’s ability to show he’s in top form over a full season.