No Justin Upton, and no Chris Young? No problem, said the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Okay, what about no Adam Eaton and Cody Ross too?
Sure, the team will deal with that too. After having what was supposed to be a ‘too many men for the three outfield positions’ situation turn into something a whole lot less pleasant thanks to injuries to two of their starters, the Diamondbacks outfield is doing just fine.
In fact, they’re doing just better than fine, as A.J. Pollock can probably attest to. The 25-year old rookie center fielder had himself a career outing on Wednesday, busting out of a five-game hitless streak with a 3-for-5 day against the Pittsburgh Pirates, including a pair of home runs coming off of Jonathan Sanchez offerings.
His trio of hits — all of the extra-base variety — and four RBIs not only established single-game career-highs, with his two homers matching the output from his 93 PA cup of tea in the bigs in 2012, but it also helped the Diamondbacks to a 10-2 rout (also ruining Sanchez’s day).
More impressively, it elevated the Pollock’s early-season OPS over the .900 mark. While his lowly .412 OPS headed into play on Wednesday shows just how far the small sample size numbers at this time of the year can be skewed with just one very good day at the plate, the .909 that he ended the game with does put him in the club with the rest of the team’s outfielders.
Yes, even without Eaton and Ross, and having traded two former All-Stars in the offseason, the Diamondbacks’ outfield is still collectively one of the best in the bigs, with all members of the crew currently sitting at a .900-plus OPS.
It’s not a run that’s likely to last, and the defensively-minded Pollock knows that he’s not out there being expected to crush homers.
That said, the former first-round pick and top-10 organizational prospect turned more than a few heads on Wednesday, and while he’s almost certainly Triple-A-bound by the time the outfield returns to health, taking full advantage of his opportunity now will go a long way in carving a role with the Diamondbacks as a utility outfielder.