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Pollock sprains thumb on diving attempt

Outfielder will see hand specialist on Tuesday
MLB.com @SteveGilbertMLB

PHOENIX -- D-backs outfielder A.J. Pollock, an early frontrunner for the National League MVP Award, will see hand specialist Dr. Don Sheridan on Tuesday to have his left thumb examined after injuring himself while diving for a fly ball in the ninth inning of Monday night's 7-2 loss to the Brewers.

For now, the team is calling it a left thumb sprain. Pollock, who was being evaluated and undergoing X-rays postgame, was unavailable for comment.

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PHOENIX -- D-backs outfielder A.J. Pollock, an early frontrunner for the National League MVP Award, will see hand specialist Dr. Don Sheridan on Tuesday to have his left thumb examined after injuring himself while diving for a fly ball in the ninth inning of Monday night's 7-2 loss to the Brewers.

For now, the team is calling it a left thumb sprain. Pollock, who was being evaluated and undergoing X-rays postgame, was unavailable for comment.

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"We don't have any sort of an idea what has happened," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "He's going to see our hand specialist tomorrow, just to run through and see exactly what's going on. It's officially his thumb. They're calling it a sprain right now and that's really all the information they have." 

Video: MIL@ARI: Lovullo on Pollock's thumb injury

Pollock's left hand appeared to roll during the dive and he immediately took off his glove and grabbed at it.

After being examined by trainer Ryan DiPanfilo, Pollock walked off the field and the thumb appeared swollen, judging by the television shot.

Lovullo was asked how much it would hurt the D-backs if Pollock is out for an extended period of time.

"I'm not even going to think about it," Lovullo said. "I'm not even going to get there until we know what's going on tomorrow."

It's understandable that Lovullo does not want to entertain the thought of Pollock being out, because the veteran, along with David Peralta, has carried the Arizona offense to this point.

Pollock entered Monday's game as the National League leader in bWAR (2.2) and in slugging (.637).

With Paul Goldschmidt, Steven Souza Jr. and Ketel Marte off to slow starts and Jake Lamb being out with an injury since the fourth game of the season, the D-backs' offense has been struggling to score runs even with Pollock in the lineup.

Taking him out of the heart of the order would certainly be a blow even with Goldschmidt, Souza and Marte showing signs of coming alive at the plate.

When Pollock left the game, Lovullo moved Souza to center, but should Pollock miss a number of weeks, it seems more likely that the team would use a combination of Jarrod Dyson and Chris Owings in center with Souza remaining in right.

Another option could be to call up Socrates Brito from Triple-A Reno.

Brito has had success in the Minors -- he's slashing .324/.372/.426 for Reno so far this year -- but has struggled to establish himself during big league stints in 2015 and 2016. He can play all three outfield positions.

If the D-backs feel comfortable with the coverage that Dyson and Owings would give them, they could choose to call up power-hitting righty Christian Walker from Reno to give them some thump off the bench.

Walker had an earlier stint with the D-backs this year and the team likes his approach at the plate. First base is probably his best position, but since being optioned to Reno he has been getting playing time in left field.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Arizona Diamondbacks, A.J. Pollock