With offseason acquisitions of starting pitchers Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller to pair with a stacked lineup, the Arizona Diamondbacks have plans of contending for a spot in the postseason this year. Those plans took a gut-wrenching punch, however, during Arizona’s second-to-last spring-training game on Friday, when outfielder A.J. Pollock fractured his right elbow on a play at the plate. Pollock will require surgery. No timetable for his return has been established.
With the injury to Pollock, the Diamondbacks will likely turn to rookie Socrates Brito. In 69 at-bats this spring, the left-handed hitting Brito batted .319 with a homer and seven RBIs. Brito spent the majority of the 2015 season in Double-A with the Mobile BayBears before joining the major-league team in September.
While with the BayBears, Brito slashed .300/.339/.451 in 490 at-bats. Out of his 147 hits, 41 were for extra bases. Brito logged seventeen doubles, fifteen triples, and nine home runs a year ago. In addition to his extra-base power. Brito also poses a threat on the bases. Last season, he stole 20 bags and has swiped 118 in his minor-league career of 532 games.
Chris Owings, Arizona’s primary second baseman, played a few innings in center field on Friday. Prior to that, Owings had never played in the outfield at the professional level. Non-roster invitee Jason Bourgeois is another possibility to play center for the D-backs.
This is not the first time Pollock, 28, has fractured his right elbow. In 2010 during spring training, Pollock fractured the elbow while diving to make a catch; the injury sidelined him the entire 2010 season.
Pollock dealt with a sore arm for much of spring training, limiting him to four games. He was just easing his way back to playing time when he suffered the fracture.
Pollock was in position to help anchor Arizona’s lineup this season, which now features two big bats — David Peralta and Paul Goldschmidt — opposed to three. Pollock, Goldschmidt, and Peralta respectively hit .315, .321, and .312 last season and combined for 70 long balls.