TODAY: Pollock has indeed gone on the IL. He underwent an “exploratory” procedure last night, as Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times was among those to tweet. Depending upon what was found, further work was considered a possibility; the outcome is not yet known as of this morning.
YESTERDAY: The Dodgers are likely to place center fielder A.J. Pollock on the injured list, manager Dave Roberts told Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register and other assembled reporters last night. Pollock dealing with an infection in his oft-injured right elbow.
Details remain scant, but Roberts indicated that the issue is related to the prior surgical procedures that Pollock has undergone on the problematic joint. The most recent occurred just before the start of the 2016 season.
Since that time, Pollock returned to action and played two mostly full seasons. He landed with the Dodgers this past winter on a four-year pact that guarantees him at least $60MM (if he triggers a fifth-year player option).
Pollock’s tenure in Los Angeles hasn’t been off to the smoothest start, with the 31-year-old carrying a .223/.287/.330 slash and drawing negative defensive metrics through 115 plate appearances. But he has been healthy and has likely been unfortunate in the batted-ball arena. Statcast credits him with career-best exit velocity and hard-hit percentage while identifying a large spread between output and expectations based upon contact quality (.268 wOBA and .318 xwOBA).
Until we learn more, speculating on Pollock’s outlook would be just that. It’s obviously suboptimal for a potentially thorny issue to arise in that particular area of his body, though the club hasn’t exactly rushed him off to the IL. In Pollock’s absence, whatever that ends up being, Alex Verdugo could see an expanded role (if his usage over the past several days is any indication). The right-handed-hitting Chris Taylor may also stand to receive added opportunities.