Diamondbacks center fielder A.J. Pollock has been diagnosed with an avulsion fracture of his left thumb, the Diamondbacks announced on Tuesday. He’s expected to miss between four and eight weeks, per manager Torey Lovullo. The injury will not require surgery, per FanRag’s Jack Magruder (Twitter link), and Pollock will wear a soft cast for the time being.
Pollock, a free agent at season’s end, was originally diagnosed with a sprain earlier today, though further testing revealed the fracture, it seems. He sustained the injury while diving for a ball in last night’s game. This specific type of fracture, per the Mayo Clinic, occurs when “a small chunk of bone attached to a tendon or ligament gets pulled away from the main part of the bone.”
Jarrod Dyson and Chris Owings can step in to handle some of the team’s work in center field, though obviously the loss of Pollock is a notable blow for a Diamondbacks club that leads the NL West by two games with a 24-17 record. It’s also a substantial blow to Pollock, who’s been among the game’s best players early in the season and was doing a nice work in padding his free agent stock as the offseason approached. Through 160 plate appearances this season, he’s hitting .293/.349/.620 with 11 homers — just nine shy of his career-high despite the fact that we’re just a quarter of the way through the regular season. Pollock’s .620 slugging percentage leads all qualified hitters in the NL.
The D-backs haven’t yet announced a corresponding move for the clearly inevitable DL trip, though MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert tweeted earlier that first baseman/outfielder Christian Walker has a locker set up in the Diamondbacks’ clubhouse, so it seems that he’ll be added to the roster for tonight’s game with Pollock heading to the 10-day disabled list. The 27-year-old Walker went 2-for-15 in a brief stint with Arizona earlier this season and is hitting .286/.288/.521 through 52 PAs with Arizona’s Triple-A affiliate in Reno.