Death, taxes, and A.J. Pollock headed to the
Disabled List Injured List. Different name, same game for Pollock this season unfortunately. He will be getting an exploratory procedure on his right elbow to determine the severity of an infection. This is the same elbow he had surgeries on in 2010 and then again in 2016, where he missed nearly the entire year. So certainly not an ideal situation for him and the Dodgers to be dealing with.
According to Mike Digiovanna of the LA Times, “If there are no issues with the screw that was inserted to fuse a fracture in the growth plate in 2016, Pollock could probably return in a few weeks. If the growth plate needs to be repaired again, Pollock probably would be out for at least six weeks.” He was officially placed on the 10-day IL, so will miss a week and a half at the very minimum. Pulling for him as he is a very talented player that has missed several chunks of time due to injuries.
The main beneficiary of Pollock missing time is Alex Verdugo. Even without regular playing time, he has been sneaky valuable in fantasy this year. He has been seeing more playing time recently and with Pollock out of the picture at least temporarily, Verdugo should be an everyday player in the meantime. The Dodgers’ top prospect entering 2019, Verdugo has impressed in his limited action thus far. He is slashing .333/.352/.623 through 29 games. After hitting 1 home run in 86 PA last year with the Dodgers, he has swatted 4 in 71 PA this season. Though he has only a 2.8% walk rate so far, his K rate is also extremely low at 11.3%. He is 4th on the team with his 16 runs batted in, despite receiving significantly less plate appearances than most of the other run producers.
|Player||Plate Appearances||Runs Batted In|
The Dodgers are 2nd in the league with their 164 runs scored, so it’s not like he’s 4th in RBI on an underwhelming offense. And that is with at least 3o less PA than any of the other names on that list. Not too shabby for the youngster. Verdugo has performed well in his limited action, and steady playing time should allow him to gain confidence and stay in rhythm at the dish.
Even if Pollock comes back after the IL stint, the rookie has shown he is deserving of at-bats. Verdugo has a 89.8% contact rate, and an even more impressive 96.6% zone contact rate. ZiPS has him down for a .280/.333/.426 slash line in 406 PA the rest of the season, with 46 R, 10 HR, 44 RBI, and 6 SB. I am adding him everywhere I can, especially with him being in such a potent offense. He is only 17.5% owned in ESPN leagues, and 21% owned in Yahoo. So (Ver)du-go add him before your league mates do!