Results tagged ‘ A.J. Pollock ’

Daily D-backs Wrap: March 27

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TODAY’S STORIES

Despite struggles at the plate, Miguel Montero remains confident
D-backs lose a pitcher’s duel to the Indians
Kennedy claims spot in rotation

CONGRATS TO KENNEDY: Ian Kennedy was told following Saturday’s game with the Indians that he had made the team.

Not a real surprise given not only the fact that they traded for him, but also because he’s pitched very well this spring.

About the only question is how many innings the D-backs will be able to get from someone who missed most of last season. It would not be surprising to see the team give him an extra day of rest here and there to try and keep that innings total down.

RIGHTING THE SHIP: While the day’s news belonged to Kennedy, the pitcher who may have helped himself out the most Saturday was reliever Clay Zavada, who has struggled throughout the spring.

The D-backs would really like to have a lefty in their bullpen and they are certainly tempted by the potential of Jordan Norberto, who has pitched better than anyone not named Juan Gutierrez this spring. The issue is the lack of experience for Norberto, but again he’s been so good that it’s not completely out of the question that he makes the team.

Anyway, Zavada had a much-needed 1-2-3 inning against the Indians.

“I’ve been battling,” Zavada said. “I’ve been working to get my tempo back and I’m starting to see better results. It’s been a bumpy road, it’s been tough. I’ve been working hard and I’m going to keep working hard.”

“It’s amazing what a clean inning can do for confidence,” Hinch said. “I think it was a good outing for him, for us.”

NOT SO GOOD NEWS: A.J. Pollock, the second of two first-round picks the D-backs in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft underwent surgery to repair a fractured elbow Friday.

The center fielder suffered the injury when he attempted to make a sliding catch during a Minor League game last week.

GM Josh Byrnes said Pollock could be out around two to three months.

“I’m glad he signed early and had a full summer last year and we’ll get him out there and then conceivably in the [Arizona] Fall League,” Byrnes said.

Signed out of the University of Notre Dame, Pollock is a polished player, who hit .271 last year at Class A South Bend and was expected to begin the 2010 season at high-A Visalia.

TUCSON APPRECIATION DAY: Sunday will be Tucson Appreciation Day when the D-backs play host to the Brewers. The festivities will commemorate the organization’s 13 years of Spring Training in Southern Arizona. All fans in attendance will receive a pennant honoring the D-backs’ Spring Training in Tucson.

It will be an important day for Lopez, who will get another chance to claim the No. 4 spot in the rotation. The D-backs will face left-hander Doug Davis, who pitched for them from 2007-09 before departing via free agency.

Wednesday wrapup

Here’s a link to today’s story in which Stephen Drew opens up about some of the off-field struggles he went through in 2009. It’s early in spring, but he’s really swung the bat well thus far.

Also did a short story on the debut of first-round pick A.J. Pollock.

– Bizarre happening during today’s game when there was a snafu with the Dodgers lineup. You can read Doug Miller’s story about it.

– Dan Haren was pleased with his outing today against the Dodgers. The right-hander gave up four hits over 2 2/3 innings and wanted to finish the third, but he had reached his pitch count so manager A.J. Hinch took him out in favor of Bob Howry.

Haren threw his first split-finger fastballs of the spring during the outing.

“Last time out I felt OK but I didn’t feel great,” said Haren, who threw 49 pitches. “I felt the ball was coming out of my hand a little better today. I used more off-speed stuff. And my fastball felt like it had a little bit of life to it. I’m still not out there max effort but overall I felt really good.”

– Another positive was the performance of closer Chad Qualls, who thus far this spring has not shown any ill effects from last season’s knee injury/surgery.

Qualls got all three batters he faced in the fifth to ground out.

“When Qualls is getting groundballs he’s right where he needs to be,” Hinch said.

– Hinch said before the game that he plans on having Chris Snyder and Miguel Montero catch back-to-back games over in Minor League camp before they do it in Cactus League games.

For right now, Hinch has alternated using the pair behind the plate and at the DH spot so that they can keep sharp at the plate without being taxed behind it.

– Gerardo Parra started in center against the Dodgers, something you could see a lot of this spring. Depending on who wins the final bench spot, Parra could wind up being the lone backup to Chris Young at that position.

Two players battling for the final roster spot — Drew Macias and Cole Gillespie — can both play center.

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.”

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