4:06PM: The Dodgers officially placed Pollock on the 10-day injured list. Right-hander Mitch White was called up from Triple-A in the corresponding move.
SEPTEMBER 4: Dodgers outfielder AJ Pollock left tonight’s game with what the team described as a right hamstring strain. Pollock hurt himself while trying to steal third base in the top of the first inning, as he was limping off the field following the play.
The fact that Pollock’s injury has already been diagnosed as a strain would seem to imply that he’ll require a trip to the injured list. The next step will be learning the severity, as anything more than a minor strain could potentially cause Pollock to miss most or even all of the Dodgers’ remaining regular-season games (and into the postseason). Pollock missed just shy of three weeks with a strain to his left hamstring earlier in the season.
Perhaps a little overshadowed by the many big names on the Dodgers’ roster, Pollock has rather quietly been a key cog in the L.A. lineup. He entered tonight’s game hitting .295/.351/.504 with 16 homers over 385 plate appearances, with plenty of hard contact backing up his 131 OPS+/wRC+. Playing mostly left field, Pollock has also been a solid defensive force, with +3 Defensive Runs Saved and +1 Outs Above Average (though the UZR/150 metric has a -2.0 score on his glovework).
Should Pollock indeed be heading back to the IL, Los Angeles can turn to a combination of Zach McKinstry, Billy McKinney, or (down at Triple-A) Matt Beaty to handle left field duty, or utilityman Chris Taylor could simply assume the everyday role. Taylor has already been seeing more regular work in center field, however, as the struggling Cody Bellinger hasn’t been playing against left-handed pitching. In short, the Dodgers’ depth will be tested yet again, which isn’t optimal for a team fighting hard with the Giants for first place in the NL West.