After a week of highly anticipated returns from players on the IL, the Dodgers are coming off a three-game sweep against the Miami Marlins.
Not only did the Dodgers complete a sweep, but they continued their dominant play on their home field; now sporting a 40-12 record this season at Dodger Stadium. With all the hot bats currently in the lineup, the most encouraging has been that of A.J. Pollock.
When Pollock was placed on the IL back in late April due to an elbow infection, many wondered if he was worth the 4 year/$55 million deal that he signed for. The “injury”, though something he had never had before, didn’t come as a shock, as Pollock has been one of the more injury-riddled players in baseball over the last few years.
With Pollock out, the Dodgers have proven that they can win without his bat and glove. Over the two months, he missed, LA had one of the better records, and offensively were one of the best teams in baseball. With that being said, the addition of him back in the lineup and his return was highly anticipated.
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It was announced that Pollock would make his return in the series opener against the Boston Red Sox on July 12. After a forgettable first month to the season, fans were worried that Pollock was not going to be able to perform to expectations.
Luckily, he changed that viewpoint in a hurry.
Since his return on July 12, Pollock has played in nine games and has been one of the hottest hitters across all of major-league baseball. During the last week, he has gone 13-for-32, which is good for a .406 average. He has four homers and 12 RBI, already double the production he had in his first month with the big league team.
With Pollock providing a hot bat, he’s making Dave Roberts’ job even more difficult. With him and Bellinger being everyday starters in the outfield, that leaves just one outfield spot open between Alex Verdugo, Joc Pederson, and Matt Beaty. Of course, this is a really good problem to have.
As time passes, Pollock’s hot bat will likely cool down, which is expected. However, if he can continue to play solid defense in center field and hit in whatever spot of the lineup he’s in, he could prove to be worth every dollar of that contract. Especially if he helps lead the Dodgers to their first WS title since 1988.