Although the Los Angeles Dodgers were endlessly linked to Bryce Harper, they addressed their outfield by signing A.J. Pollock and trading Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig as part of a trade with the Cincinnati Reds.
The optics of Pollock joining the Dodgers on a four-year contract led to comparisons with Harper and Puig. The 31-year-old remained adamant those were out of his control and Pollock was focused on playing his game.
He certainly was familiar with the Dodgers, having spent the past seven seasons in center field for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Pollock faced his former team once during Spring Training and does so again on Opening Day for the start of a four-game series.
Pollock quickly brushed aside any awkwardness when asked about the oddity of playing the Diamondbacks to start the season, via SportsNet LA:
“It’s a little strange but I feel right at home here on our side. I’m going to be ready to kick their butt when we’re out there on Opening Day.”
Although indications were Pollock would likely bat leadoff for the Dodgers, manager Dave Roberts closed out Spring Training with Joc Pederson at the top of his lineup more times than not. When asked about Pederson batting leadoff, Roberts said this week it would remain that way for at least the near future.
For his part, Pollock has expressed a willingness to hit anywhere in the order. When he was not in the leadoff spot, Pollock was most often slotted cleanup or fifth during the spring. What is all but cemented is he resides as the everyday center fielder.