Craig Calcaterra

Arizona Diamondbacks' A.J. Pollock grabs his arm after scoring on a hit by David Peralta during the third inning of a spring training baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Friday, April 1, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Associated Press

A.J. Pollock fractures his elbow on slide into home, will require surgery

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The Arizona Diamondbacks sustained a huge blow last night when All-Star center fielder A.J. Pollock fractured his right elbow with a head-first slide into home plate during an exhibition game against the Kansas City Royals. Manager Chip Hale said Pollock would require surgery.

Pollock was to be a big part of a Diamondbacks team many were expecting to make great strides in 2016. Last year he was fantastic, hitting .315/.367/.498 with 20 homers, 39 doubles and 39 stolen bases all while playing Gold Glove defense in center field. This year, with Pollock and Paul Goldschmidt leading the offensive attack and Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller shoring up the pitching staff, many assumed the Dbacks would be playoff contenders.

Now that’s all uncertain, as one of the best players in the game will be on the shelf for an extended period of time. How much time? It’s unclear now. The Dbacks said they will know more about the extent of the fracture today but, for now, there is no timetable for his return. It’s worth noting that Pollock fractured the same elbow in spring training in 2010 and missed the entire season.

After the game, manager Chip Hale said “We feel awful for A.J. We’re a family. It’s like one of your family members taken away from you right now.” He also talked about the circumstances of the play, saying “If he goes feet-first, he’d be OK, but the problem is the way the play played out. If he goes feet-first, he might have gotten his leg broke by the catcher. It’s just unfortunate.”

Hale doesn’t have the luxury of dwelling on it, however, as Opening Day is Monday evening at home against the Rockies. For now 23-year-old Socrates Brito will likely replace Pollock. Brito has 18 games and 34 major league plate appearances under his belt. Apart from that late season call up, he has never played above Double-A. Chris Ownings could see some time covering for Pollock too. If Pollock is to miss the season and Brito proves insufficient, the DBacks could look to make a trade, of course.

Sad news all around. Here’s the play if you want to see it. It’s not graphic or gross or anything. Just really unfortunate.

 

Parker undergoes successful surgery on his right elbow

Jarrod Parker
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Oakland right-hander Jarrod Parker underwent successful surgery on his right elbow, the Athletics announced before Friday night’s exhibition game with the San Francisco Giants.

The surgery was performed by Dr. Neil ElAttrache in Los Angeles on Wednesday. Dr. ElAttrache, using Parker’s revision UCL graft that was done two years ago, reconstructed the medial compartment of Parker’s elbow, including reconstructing the flexor tendon and ulnar collateral ligament complex. Parker returns to Arizona on Saturday.

Parker had his second Tommy John surgery in March of 2014 and hasn’t pitched in the majors since the 2013 AL Division Series. He re-fractured his medial epicondyle during a simulated game on March 10 after originally fracturing it last May while pitching for Triple-A Nashville.

His previous revised UCL did not need repairing and the avulsed medial epicondyle fracture was cleaned up and repaired.

Taylor Teagarden, named in the Al Jazeera report, suspended 80 games by Major League Baseball

New York Mets catcher Taylor Teagarden (23) smiles as he talks with New York Mets starting pitcher Bartolo Colon (40) in the dugout in the fifth inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field on Friday, June 13, 2014, in New York. Colon earned the win as the Mets beat the Padres 6-2. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)
Associated Press
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Major League Baseball just announced that free agent catcher Taylor Teagarden has received an 80-game suspension without pay as a result of his violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

This may not have been a big thing in a vacuum. Teagarden has played in only 17 major league games in the past two years, is a 32-year-old free agent and in all likelihood would not have appeared in a big league game again. But the circumstances which have led to this bit of news does make it notable. Those circumstances: he was named in the Al Jazeera report which also named Ryan Howard, Ryan Zimmerman, Peyton Manning and other athletes last December. Howard and Zimmerman have sued over the report and have denied all wrongdoing.

To be clear, Teagarden was shown in an undercover video in the report talking openly about his PED usage and such was not the case for Howard, Zimmerman, Manning or other athletes named in the report. As such, this might just be a case of some low-hanging fruit being snagged by MLB. It is worth watching, however, to see if anything else comes of the Al Jazeera report.