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The D-Backs are in 1st, but now they’ve lost A.J. Pollock


Wednesday’s Say Hey, Baseball looks at an injury that could mess with the Diamondbacks’ NL West dreams.

The Diamondbacks have been playing well so far in 2018, as they sit in first place in the National League West, two games up on the second-place Rockies. However, they aren’t without their problems: their pitching is basically the entire reason why they’re in first, as their offense has been the second-worst in the league, only better than that of the Marlins.

Those offensive issues are about to be magnified for the next month or two, as A.J. Pollock fractured his thumb on Monday while attempting a diving catch, and is set to miss four-to-eight weeks. Pollock was one of just three Diamondbacks’ regulars with an above-average offensive performance this season, batting .293/.349/.620 with 11 homers. That was good for a 150 OPS+, which leads the D-Backs and was 11th in the National League among qualifiers.

Arizona isn’t screwed by any means: their pitching is tremendous and the reason they’ve still managed to outscore opponents by 23 runs on the season despite a lineup that’s managing about as well as one that intentionally got rid of most of its good hitters this past winter. Plus, Paul Goldschmidt is off to a slow start, putting up an 88 OPS+ to this point in the season: he’s been one of MLB’s more consistent sluggers since 2013, and is still just 30 years old, so expecting him to pick it up at the plate while Pollock is out isn’t a huge ask.

The D-Backs will have to hope Goldschmidt is up to the task — as well as Ketel Marte and Alex Avila and everyone else underperforming — because the Rockies are just two games back, the Giants 3.5 back, and the Dodgers, at some point, are bound to wake up and start threatening the rest of the division as was expected, even if they have to do so without Corey Seager.

  • We’re not saying performance-enhancing drugs are good. It’s just that, if you have even a tiny chance of becoming Robinson Cano because you take them, well, then players are going to keep taking them.
  • Stephen Piscotty’s mother passed away last week, and he returned from bereavement leave on Tuesday. He did so with a homer and an emotional moment captured in a beautiful photo.
  • Willson Contrera’s Venezuela flag-sleeve is the latest uniform change that MLB is cracking down on.
  • The Supreme Court’s decision on sports betting won’t ruin sports, writes Harry Lyles Jr., because the damage has already been done.
  • The Orioles are not in a great place, so Camden Chat is already thinking about the future of the rotation.
  • Things are, uh, not going great for the Indians at the moment, if the latest Let’s Go Tribe recap is any indication.
  • Blake Swihart’s agent reportedly asked the Red Sox to trade his client, who has been stuck on the bench out of options.
  • The Twins’ bullpen is being overworked, writes Twinkie Town.
  • Robinson Cano was already on the disabled list, so the Mariners had lineup decisions to make even before it was announced he was being suspended.
  • Here’s the Lookout Landing staff reacting to a suspension being dropped on top of all of that.

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