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Dodgers place AJ Pollock on injured list, recall Mitch White from Triple-A

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Pollock suffered a right hamstring strain on Saturday

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

AJ Pollock was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right hamstring strain on Sunday, with the Dodgers outfielder expected to miss most of the rest of the regular season.

Pollock injured his hamstring on Saturday while running the bases, getting picked off going from second to third base in the first inning. He had to be helped off the field with what was classified as a Grade 2 strain.

“I don’t want to speculate. I know that it wasn’t good. Obviously, it’s a huge loss in any capacity,” manager Dave Roberts said Saturday night. “Where we’re at, this is two, three weeks at a bare minimum.”

Pollock is hitting .297/.352/.508 with 16 home runs, 25 doubles, and a 132 wRC+. He leads the team in outfield starts (88), with one more than Mookie Betts through Saturday.

“A couple of weeks is where we’re at, and we’ll pick up from there,” Roberts reiterated on Sunday. “I still see getting him back this season at some point.”

This is ancillary in importance to Pollock missing most of September, but the injury also likely ends any chance of the outfielder opting out of his contract after the season. Pollock’s four-year, $55 million contract includes a $10 million salary in 2022 and a $10 million player option in 2023 with a $5 million buyout.

Pollock could have opted out after 2021 — with a $5 million buyout — with either 1,450 plate appearances from 2019-21 or 1,000 PA in 2020-21 combined. Pollock totaled only 938 plate appearances the last three seasons, and 586 over the last two years. But if 2020 numbers were adjusted for the pandemic-shortened season, his 210 PA last year is the equivalent of 567 PA over a 162-game season. Add that to this year’s 386 PA, and Pollock would be at 953 PA in 2020-21, just 47 plate appearance shy of hitting the opt-out trigger.

Dodgers-Giants lineups

Pos Dodgers Pos Giants
Pos Dodgers Pos Giants
2B Turner 2B La Stella (L)
1B Muncy (L) 1B Belt (L)
RF Betts 3B Bryant
3B Turner LF Wade (L)
SS Seager (L) SS Crawford (L)
C Smith RF Yastrzemski (L)
LF Taylor C Casali
CF Bellinger (L) CF Duggar (L)
P Buehler P Leone

The Dodgers didn’t call up a position player to replace Pollock on the roster, likely because Cody Bellinger figures to take most of that playing time, with a dash of Billy McKinney. Pitcher Mitch White was recalled instead, but there’s likely a method to the madness.

White pitched six scoreless innings for Low-A Rancho Cucamonga on Friday. With four games against the Cardinals up next, Max Scherzer flew ahead of the team to St. Louis since he’s starting the opener on Monday afternoon. Roberts said Tuesday and Wednesday’s starters are TBA, and that Julio Urías would likely start Thursday.

Andre Jackson’s 10th day on optional assignment is Monday, so he could be recalled to pitch bulk innings on Tuesday if needed. White on four days rest would be lined up to pitch bulk innings or start on Wednesday, but that would have been his 10th day on option, so he couldn’t have been recalled until Thursday unless replacing an injured player. Hence, today’s roster move.

The Dodgers on Saturday also sent pitcher Ryan Meisinger outright to Triple-A, removing him from the 40-man roster.

Giants moves

San Francisco added a fresh arm for Sunday’s bullpen game, recalling right-hander Camilo Doval from Triple-A Sacramento. Sammy Long, who allowed two runs in the ninth inning on Saturday night, was optioned to Triple-A.

The Giants also placed outfielder Austin Slater on the 7-day injured list with a concussion. Steven Duggar was recalled from Triple-A and starts in center field, one of six left-handed batters in San Francisco’s lineup against Walker Buehler.