Arizona Diamondbacks centerfielder A.J. Pollock sustained a fractured right elbow on a headfirst slide into home plate in Arizona’s 7–4 exhibition win over the Kansas City Royals on Friday.
Manager Chip Hale told reporters that Pollock will undergo surgery and there is no timetable for his return. Pollock previously missed time in spring training due to elbow soreness.
Pollock told reporters he would aim for a return this season, and that he injured himself while pushing himself back to his feet following the slide, not while sliding. “It almost felt like a nightmare, like it really wasn't happening,” Pollock said. “But today it's sunk in. Now it's kind of get prepared for what's next.”
Pollock hit .315 with 20 home runs and 76 RBIs last season, made his first All-Star Game and won his first Gold Glove award. He injured the same elbow in 2010, breaking it while diving for a ball as a minor leaguer. That injury kept him out for an entire season.
In the case of an extended absence for Pollock, 23-year-old outfielder Socrates Brito is likely to see an increase in playing time. Brito has a .303 batting average with 20 hits, one home run and seven RBIs in spring training.
The Diamondbacks open the season Monday against the Colorado Rockies.