The Los Angeles Dodgers haven’t yet received significant contributions from their offseason signings, as A.J. Pollock underwent elbow surgery and Joe Kelly has struggled with consistency. All the while, manager Dave Roberts has maintained both players are key to the Dodgers’ success.
At the time of signing Pollock to a five-year, $60 million contract, Roberts and president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said the veteran was viewed as the everyday center fielder. Friedman, Roberts and Pollock alike downplayed his checkered injury history.
It was chalked up as bad luck, and that surfaced when a cut on Pollock’s elbow became infected and required surgery to remove hardware from previous operations. A timetable was not released upon Pollock having surgery in early May.
It was deduced that the 31-year-old faced a lengthy road ahead, and Pollock will at least be sidelined until the second half of the season as a rehab assignment likely won’t take place until the All-Star break, per Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times:
Pollock will join the Dodgers in Arizona next week to continue his rehab program and remain there when the club moves on to Colorado to take at-bats at the Dodgers’ spring training facility. Roberts said he expects Pollock, who is out with an elbow infection, to play in rehab games through the All-Star break.
Pollock only recently begun baseball activities, which was delayed until the peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) line was removed from his left arm. Pollock required the medical apparatus as a means to deliver antibiotics required to treat the infection that developed.
Prior to the PICC line being removed last week, Pollock said he anticipated a relatively quick rehab process. His progression is expected to include beginning with dry swings before advancing to hitting off a tee, hitting underhand flips, then full batting practice.
Whenever Pollock is deemed healthy and capable of coming off the 10-day injured list, Roberts has already made it clear he will regain his starting job in center field. The club will continue to pursue avenues to playing time for Alex Verdugo, which involves Joc Pederson likely playing some first base.
Pollock hit .223/.287/.330 with three doubles, one triple, two home runs and 14 RBI while appearing in 28 games prior to landing on the IL. He memorably hit a game-winning home run against the Cincinnati Reds in April.