When the Los Angeles Dodgers signed A.J. Pollock to a five-year, $60 million contract during the offseason, it was met by surprise over the financial commitment and criticism because of his injury history.
President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, manager Dave Roberts and Pollock himself pushed back on the notion he is injury prone. Their argument hinged on Pollock avoiding soft-tissue injuries and simply running into a string of bad luck.
Regardless of how one may choose to interpret Pollock’s injury history, he’s been sidelined for yet another prolonged stretch. After an infection developed in his elbow, the veteran center fielder was required to undergo surgery to remove hardware that was previously used to stabilize the joint.
Pollock is nearly two months into the recovery process and is hopeful to come off the injured list when the Dodgers begin a series with the Boston Red Sox after the All-Star break, according to Pedro Moura of The Athletic:
A.J. Pollock is targeting the July 12 second-half opener in Boston for his activation from the injured list. He expects to take his first at-bats against live pitching this weekend.
— Pedro Moura (@pedromoura) June 24, 2019
While the target date may seem ambitious, Pollock asserted he would maintain an aggressive approach throughout his rehab process. That got off to a bit of a slow start as it wasn’t until June 12 that a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) line, which was used to administer antibiotics to treat the infection, was removed.
Until that point, Pollock was unable to do much physical activity as he had to avoid perspiring. Once able to begin workouts and the such, his progression was expected dry swings before advancing to hitting off a tee, hitting underhand flips, then full batting practice.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has already outlined a plan for the 31-year-old to begin a rehab assignment during the All-Star break. That is also the tentative schedule for Corey Seager as he works to return from a left hamstring strain.
What has not been decided is whether both players will report to an affiliate as they seek to log at-bats, or take them at Camelback Ranch.
Pollock has appeared in just 28 games thus far, batting .223/.287/.330 with three doubles, one triple, two home runs and 14 RBI. Alex Verdugo has filled in admirably during his absence but Pollock is expected to regain his starting job in center field upon being activated.