The Los Angeles Dodgers lineup took a major hit earlier this week as AJ Pollock was placed on the 10-day injured list with a Grade 2 right hamstring strain.
The 33-year-old arguably had been in the midst of his best season since 2015 when he earned All-Star honors as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Pollock is expected to be sidelined for a couple of weeks but could return before the end of the regular season. His absence in the meantime opens the door for Cody Bellinger to receive regular at-bats after previously being relegated to a platoon role.
While Bellinger figures to be in the lineup on most nights, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts will consider other options if he continues to struggle. “It’s a combo,” Roberts began when asked if the Dodgers can afford Bellinger time to work through his troubles or if a change needs to be considered.
“Obviously losing AJ was a loss, and hope to get him back at some point in time. There’s some certain things he’s got to figure out, but also I’ve got to take a look and see what gives us the best chance on a particular night, and I’ll do that.”
Since Pollock sustained his hamstring injury in last Saturday’s win over the San Francisco Giants, Bellinger has started five consecutive games. Over that stretch, he’s gone hitless in 17 at-bats with one RBI and three strikeouts.
If Roberts looks to make a change, the only other outfielders on the active roster currently not receiving regular at-bats are Billy McKinney and Steven Souza Jr.
Both players started alongside Bellinger in Thursday’s 2-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals and went a combined 0-for-9 with four strikeouts.
The Dodgers also have several players in Triple-A Oklahoma City with outfield experience they can consider calling up, including Matt Beaty, Zach McKinstry and Zach Reks.
Betts shares advice for Bellinger
As Bellinger tries to right the ship, Mookie Betts recently lended some advice to him. “Just to keep playing,” Betts said. “He’ll be all right, it is what it is. He went through an injury that takes time to heal and then he got hurt again. He’s fine.”
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