PHOENIX – A.J. Pollock exited the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Saturday night contest against the Cincinnati Reds at Chase Field after being hit in his hand in the eighth inning.
Pollock, 26, looked to have checked his swing on a 92-mph offering from Reds starter Johnny Cueto, which was originally called a strike though making contact with the batter’s bat-gripping right knuckles. He twirled out of the batter’s box following the pitch, grimacing as he held and shook his hand.
The Diamondbacks later announced the injury to Pollock’s hand to be a fracture.
“It’s on the back; I don’t know the exact location,” manager Kirk Gibson said. “Whatever — it’s broke. It’s just a matter of whether he has to have surgery or not.”
Gibson exited the dugout with a trainer after the incident to check on Pollock and challenge the strike call.
“They said foul ball, but I was pretty positive it hit me in the hand,” Pollock recounted to the media after the game.
“It was a good challenge on Gibby’s part; I’m proud of him,” he joked, trying to make light of the situation.
While the play was under review by home plate umpire Kerwin Danley and crew chief Gary Cederstrom, Pollock headed for the Diamondbacks dugout and did not return. Moments later, Nick Evans took his place at first base, the call having been overturned.
Pollock, like his manager, was lacking for details on the injury. With each question he fielded from reporters about the injury’s specifics, he repeatedly deferred to the Diamondbacks training staff, though once mentioning that he thought he remembered hearing he had broken a metacarpal or two.
“We’re just kind of waiting to see,” he explained. “They’re going to do some more tests and stuff and — yeah, we’re just kind of waiting, trying to figure out what’s going on.”
Pollock has maintained a relatively healthy career to date. With the exception of an elbow injury which required surgery in his first year with the organization, the centerfielder has avoided long stints on the disabled list.
But that track record could be coming to the end.
“He’s definitely going to the DL and we’ll try to get someone here (for Sunday’s game),” Gibson said.
The manager wasn’t yet sure who the team would call up for Sunday’s series finale with the Reds.
Pollock has been one of the Diamondbacks’ few bright spots this season, batting .341 in April and May with 26 extra-base hits and 15 RBI. He has a .386 on-base percentage and a .598 slugging percentage in that span, which includes all but the Diamondbacks’ first three games of the season.
Entering play Saturday, Pollock led the Diamondbacks in the wins above replacement (WAR) value metric, according to FanGraphs.com’s calculation, with a 2.0. Paul Goldschmidt has a 1.6 mark.
An adroit defender, Pollock is also tied for seventh in defensive WAR among National League position players, according to Baseball-Reference.com’s formula for the statistic.