As the regular season winds to a close the Los Angeles Dodgers are in the midst of playing their final series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. But for A.J. Pollock, it’s his first time being a visitor at Chase Field.
After spending seven seasons with the Diamondbacks — including an All-Star campaign in 2015 — Pollock signed a five-year, $60 million contract with the Dodgers over the winter. His deal includes an opt-out clause after the 2021 season, and a player option for the fifth year.
The 31-year-old immediately checked off facing his former teammates as the Dodgers played the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium the Opening Series. Pollock started in all four games and went 7-for-17 with four runs scored, two doubles, one home run and six RBI.
But because of an infection in his right elbow that required surgery and more than months of recovery, Pollock missed the Dodgers’ previous trips to Chase Field. Now able to play, he’s hoping to make it a successful visit, as seen on SportsNet LA:
“It’s fun. I was looking forward to playing (here), obviously the first time didn’t work out. It should be a good time. Hopefully get some wins.”
For as much as Pollock grew familiar with Chase Field, there’s still an adjustment for him because of recent changes:
“It’s been different here, because I feel like a lot of things have changed in the last year. Field turf, I’m interested to see how that plays, but also the humidor, I thought really affected the ball. In the outfield it affected how you were going after certain balls, and I thought it affected as a hitter obviously, too. You kind of need to (adjust your approach) because it feels a little new.”
Pollock went 1-for-3 in the series opener, an 11-5 loss for the Dodgers. He collected an RBI by drawing a bases-loaded walk in the third inning.
Pollock’s return to Arizona is also intriguing from the standpoint he potentially could face Archie Bradley since they exchanged words at Dodger Stadium. Pollock was upset over being called out on a pop-up despite the ball seemingly going off his wrist, not the knob of the bat.
He continued to voice his frustration with the home-plate umpire after replay held up the call, and that prompted Bradley to shout in Pollock’s direction. Bradley then had more words for the Dodgers dugout upon completing the save and it led to both benches clearing.