(Courtesy of bigstory.ap.org)
Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder A.J. Pollock is out for approximately two months with a broken hand, as the team now looks toward the bench for his temporary replacement. Pollock was the only outfielder on the team with a consistent bat. He hit .316 with 16 doubles and has absolutely proven his worth as a 2009 first round draft pick. Ender Inciarte, Cody Ross and recent call-up David Peralta will now be relied on much more in an attempt to provide a similar spark that Pollock administered. Manager Kirk Gibson certainly realizes how thin the Dbacks outfield is and that Ross needs to step his game up:
“We’re going to need him to step up and get back to his normal thing,” Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson told the Burns & Gambo Show on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM on Tuesday. “Especially since we got thinned out here, it’s all too important.”
“He’s coming off of a very severe injury — that hip injury is very severe — and though he feels good, I wouldn’t say that he’s as quick as he’s going to be when it’s maybe another half a year out or a year out.”
Gibson expresses just how long it could take for Ross to heal 100% while realizing at the same time that this outfield is in desperate need of consistency. Since Peralta just recently made his MLB debut and has minimal major league experience it will be the veteran Ross that should get the bulk of the opportunity in left field. Remember, major offseason acquisition Mark Trumbo is still out from the stress fracture in his foot that was suffered April 23rd. Trumbo hit off a tee on May 30th, so he is hopefully on his way back. Having 2/3 of their starting outfield injured the snakes need Cody Ross and Ender Inciarte to carry the load for the time being.
“I’ve played him pretty regularly — two games on, a day off, three on, a day off, a day on, a day off — and we’re just going to try to find a way to get him going,” Gibson expressed.
These quotes certainly explain the plethora of different ways the Diamondbacks have tried to get Cody Ross going. The 33-year-old outfielder has limped his way throughout the month or so since his return with just 19 hits in 112 plate appearances. That is a meager .179 batting average, which is no comparison to the .278 average he had in 2013 before his injury. These statistics imply that this hip injury is getting to the head of Ross and effecting his style of play.
Cody Ross has had a very inconsistent and erratic start to his 2014 season mainly due to the very serious hip injury suffered in August of 2013. He spent the entire offseason, spring training and most of April on the mend displaying just how serious the injury truly is. There should be no complaint about playing time for Ross though, even prior to Pollock’s injury. Ross has appeared in 34 of the Diamondbacks 40 games played since his return, hopefully even more at bats for him results with some production.
Phoenix Sports-Kings Assistant Site Manager Ian Johnson @IanJohnsonSK