Dodgers outfielder AJ Pollock may miss rest of the regular season

AJ Pollock has been an under-the-radar stalwart in the Dodgers’ lineup, and now he may miss the rest of the regular season.

The Los Angeles Dodgers moved back into a tie atop the NL West with the San Francisco Giants with a 6-1 win Saturday. But they also suffered a loss, as outfielder AJ Pollock suffered what’s now been confirmed to be a Grade 2 strain of his right hamstring.

According to manager Dave Roberts, Pollock will miss a minimum of 2-3 weeks. He was injured after an awkward slide when he attempted to steal third after a double in the first inning. A two or three week minimum means there’s a solid chance he misses the rest of the regular season, and possibly beyond.

For a point of reference, though the injuries may not be similar, Pollock missed18 games earlier this season with a strained left hamstring.

AJ Pollock has become a sneaky key cog in Dodgers’ lineup

Injuries have derailed Pollock at time during his career. But he played 55 games of 60 games for the Dodgers last season, and tied for third in the National League with 16 home runs. This season, through his one at-bat Saturday night, he’s hitting .297/.352/.508 with 16 home runs, 58 RBI, 25 doubles, nine steals (132 OPS+). Primarily playing left field, he’s been solid defensively too.

When Pollock left Saturday night’s game, Cory Bellinger replaced him the lineup and played center field while Chris Taylor shifted from center to left.

Bellinger is having a miserable season offensively (.169/.245/.311 slash-line, nine home runs, 32 RBI), and he had recently been benched against left-handers. Now, the Dodgers will be relying on the former Rookie of Year, NL MVP and NLCS MVP to find something remotely resembling his prior form at the plate. Zach McKinstry and Billy McKinney are other options to see time in Pollock’s absence, and calling up Matt Beaty from Triple-A could be an option.

The Dodgers have won 21 of their last 26 games to surge back to the top of the NL West. If they finish the job and overtake the Giants down the stretch, the’ll have to do it without (or at least mostly without) Pollock.

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