The Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks Thursday night for their third win in a row and fifth overall. Seven games into the season, the Dodgers have a record of 5-2, and their two MVPs, Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger, are batting .185 combined. However, the Dodgers still continue to find ways to win games.
The resurgence of a healthy Corey Seager has indeed carried a good part of the Los Angeles offensive load. Seager is off to a hot start in 2020 batting .321 with two homers and two doubles. The former Rookie of the Year seems to make a loud out every time he doesn’t smack a base hit. Some fans were wondering how long it would take the 26-year-old shortstop to return to form, while others felt he might not return to his dominant days at all.
Another player fans did not expect to see a fast start in blue was outfielder A.J. Pollock. The former Diamondback has begun the season 8-for-17 with a home run, two doubles, and an average of .471. He joined the team late at Summer Camp after overcoming coronavirus and his daughter’s premature birth.
Pollock was snagged as a free agent on a five-year contract with the before the 2019 season. Fans had got a good look at him after he tormented the Dodgers as an adversary with the NL West rivals Diamondbacks. The one-time All-Star dealt with injury problems for his later years in Arizona and also saw time on the injured list in his first year as a Dodger.
The outfielder posted a .266 batting average, with 15 homers and 47 RBI in 86 games last season. However, much to the displeasure of fans, he failed to record a hit in the 2019 postseason in 13 at-bats, while also striking out 11 times.
Pollock seems to be locked in during the start of this shortened season. He’s started both at the designated hitter spot and in the outfield. The 32-year-old Connecticut native hit his first homer of the season against his former team Thursday night. It surely is a small sample size, but if Pollock can continue anything close to this production, once Betts and Bellinger get settled in alongside Seager, Justin Turner, and Max Muncy, it can be a nightmare scenario for opposing pitchers.
“To get here, it’s been a journey,” said Pollock during a post-game interview while also reminiscing about his injuries and recent situations.
“I showed up late to Summer Camp, just going with the flow, I got coronavirus and all the stuff I had to go through to be able to play,” said Pollock.
Pollock’s best season statistically was his 2015 all-star season when he had an average of .315 with 29 homers and 76 RBI. He also stole a career-high 39 bases during that campaign, something he usually doesn’t do anymore. His OPS that year was also a career-high at .865.
Looking at Friday’s contest, the Dodgers will send young righty Tony Gonsolin to the mound for his first start of the 2020 campaign. To make room on the active roster, the Dodgers optioned Josh Sborz who they just called up a couple of days ago and did not make any appearances.
Gonsolin is making the start in place of injured starter Alex Wood. The 26-year-old right-hander appeared in 11 games for the Dodgers in 2019 while starting six games. He went 4-2 with a 2.93 ERA while striking out 37 batters in 40 innings pitched.
Gonsolin was named the 2018 Dodgers Minor League Pitcher of the Year and was drafted by the Dodgers in 2016.
He will face righty Zac Gallen in the probable pitching matchup Friday evening.
- Muncy DH
- Betts RF
- Bellinger CF
- Turner 3B
- Seager SS
- Taylor 2B
- Pederson LF
- Rios 1B
- Barnes C
First pitch is 6:40 p.m. Los Angeles time.