Pollock thrilled to return to surging D-backs

Vargas optioned to Triple-A Reno in corresponding move

July 4th, 2017

LOS ANGELES -- After seven weeks, A.J. Pollock's name was back atop the D-backs' lineup as they opened a crucial series against the Dodgers on Tuesday night.

Pollock had been on the disabled list with a Grade 1 right groin strain he suffered May 14 while running to first base in the ninth inning against the Pirates.

"I missed these guys," said Pollock, who finished 1-for-4 with a double in the D-backs' 4-3 loss. "You're playing and you're having a good time and all of a sudden it gets taken away."

Pollock stayed in touch with his teammates throughout his rehab and manager Torey Lovullo reached out often.

"Communication in rehab is huge and guys keep complimenting the communication on this team and there's a reason for it -- the communication is awesome," Pollock said. "Starting at the top, Torey was calling me all the time checking in, the training staff, it was great you still feel like you're a part of it, you don't feel like you're on an island there on rehab."

Pollock had a slash line of .299/.337/.455 at the time of the injury. Unlike last year, when the team really struggled after he suffered a fractured elbow just prior to Opening Day, the D-backs went 31-13 in his absence and find themselves with the third-most wins in the Majors.

"I wasn't surprised at all," Pollock said of how well the team has played. "I really wasn't. I want to get back to the fun. The guys are playing really good baseball and it's really, really cool to watch. Coming back to such a good atmosphere and such a good group of guys. Like I said, I'm going to just try and do my part. ... This team obviously has a really good thing going on."

Lovullo has mentioned that he would like to see Pollock take his foot off the accelerator a bit in how he plays in an effort to stay healthy. That seems like a tall task for the always-hustling Pollock.

In addition, the times he has gotten hurt -- he had a left groin issue in Spring Training -- have not happened when he was running particularly hard.

"We've talked," Pollock said. "I think that's kind of between me and him, and the stuff that I can do -- you're not really going to notice a whole lot, I know that. There might be a couple of things here and there that I am doing. I'm not walking to first base. But going 110 percent on a ball that's an easy out to center field, maybe it's a jog into second base. We'll see."

Setback for Tomas

Lovullo said that outfielder had an MRI and was diagnosed with a mild right groin strain. That is different than the tendinitis that had shown up in his initial MRI last month. A timetable for his return has not been set.