Pollock makes D-backs debut
GLENDALE, Ariz. — A.J. Hinch thought it was best not to give A.J. Pollock too much time to think about his first taste of Major League baseball.
Pollock, who was Arizona’s second pick in the first round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft (17th overall), was brought over from Minor League camp as an extra player for Wednesday’s game against the Dodgers.
“We only gave him about 10 hours notice,” Hinch said. “We called him last night at about 9 and told him to be on the bus at 7 a.m.”
Pollock was going to play Sunday, but both split-squad games that day were shortened by rain.
In the seventh, Pollock entered the game in center and got his first at-bat in the ninth. And when I say first at-bat I mean not just the first of the game, but the first time he has faced live pitching this year.
He laced a double to left-center and advanced to third on a groundout. Hinch put the contact play on — meaning that Pollock was to run when contact was made by hitter Jake Wald. Wald hit a grounder to short and as Pollock slid home safely with the game-tying run when shortstop Ivan DeJesus Jr. threw low to plate.
“He laid into that ball he hit it as squarely as you can hit it,” Hinch said.
Pollock said he was nervous, but not in the way you would think.
“I was just ready to go,” Pollock said. “I wanted to stay as relaxed as I could [at the plate]. I was a little nervous going in there mostly for the field, the hitting I was like whatever. You know you go into your first at-bat of the year if you don’t perform you get back out there and get going again. I didn’t want to misplay a fly ball, I didn’t care if popped up.”
Judging by the impression he made, it seems safe to say we haven’t seen the last of Pollock this spring.
“He’s not too far removed from being a camp invite or moving up the chain,” Hinch said. “He’s an exciting player.”