SAN FRANCISCO – The Dodgers placed center fielder AJ Pollock on the injured list before Sunday’s game, although manager Dave Roberts is hopeful that the 33-year-old will return before the end of the regular season.
Pollock injured his right hamstring attempting to steal third base in the first inning of Saturday’s 6-1 win over the San Francisco Giants. Pollock immediately grabbed the back of his leg and eventually got up and limped slowly off the field.
Roberts said Pollock improved slightly Sunday morning before the decision was made to put him on the IL.
“He felt much better today,” Roberts said. “A couple weeks is probably where we’re at and we’ll pick up from there. I still see him getting back this season at some point.”
A Gold Glove winner in 2015 when he was also an All-Star, Pollock has been one of the Dodgers' top players this season with a .297 average and .508 slugging percentage. He has 16 home runs and 58 RBIs.
Cody Bellinger is likely to get the bulk of playing time while Pollock is out.
“It’s a blow,” Roberts said. “AJ has been one of our better performers all year long, so to miss out on that player is a big loss.”
In a corresponding move, the Dodgers called up right-hander Mitch White. Roberts said White is being considered to start Tuesday against the Cardinals.
Pujols back in St. Louis
When the Dodgers head to St. Louis to begin a four-game series with the Cardinals starting Monday, few people will be more excited than Albert Pujols. The 41-year-old slugger spent the first 11 seasons of his career there and helped the Cardinals win a pair of World Series championships.
It’ll be Pujols' second trip back to the city that still remains close to his heart.
“That’s where everything started for me,” Pujols said. “Great people, great fans. They became pretty much my family.”
Pujols previously returned to St. Louis in 2019 with the Angels, with whom he signed a $240 million, 10-year deal after leaving the Cardinals as a free agent. He was greeted with a standing ovation in every at-bat and also when he hit a home run for the visiting Angels.
Pujols called it one of the top two moments of his career.
“That’s something I will cherish forever,” he said.
Pujols is as beloved a player as the Cardinals have had in their history. He was a three-time MVP and 10-time All-Star who was the guiding force on the World Series championship teams in 2006 and '11.
Cardinals manager Mike Schildt expects Pujols to receive another hero’s welcome when he returns. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has Pujols penciled in to play against the Cardinals on Tuesday and Thursday.
“It'll be another wonderful opportunity to have Albert back in St. Louis and have people enjoy him -- and hopefully not too much his play -- but a chance to reward him for an 11-year stretch that was as good as anybody in any organization, almost historically in the game of baseball,” Schildt said.