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A.J. Pollock to miss 4-8 weeks with avulsion fracture in left thumb

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Diamondbacks outfielder A.J. Pollock has been diagnosed with an avulsion fracture in his left thumb and is expected to miss the next four to eight weeks, the club announced. An avulsion fracture happens near where bone attaches to a tendon or ligament. During the fracture, the tendon or ligament is torn away and takes a small piece of bone with it. Pollock suffered the injury diving to catch a Tyler Saladino line drive during Monday’s game against the Brewers.

Pollock, 30, has been among the best players in baseball this season, batting .293/.349/.620 with 11 home runs, 33 RBI, 23 runs scored, and nine stolen bases in 166 plate appearances. This is obviously a big loss for the Diamondbacks, who enter play Tuesday leading the NL West with a 24-17 record.

Jarrod Dyson and Chris Owings are likely to handle center field while Pollock recovers.

Carlos Martínez to work out of Cardinals’ bullpen for rest of season

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When Cardinals starter Carlos Martínez returns from the disabled list, likely some time next week, he will pitch out of the bullpen, MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports. Martínez has been on the disabled list since late July with a strained right shoulder. The plan is still for Martínez to start in 2019 and beyond.

GM John Mozeliak said, “If you’re going to go down that starting path and you’re starting at ground zero, the likelihood of him being back would be sometime in mid-September. And we’ve done that twice this year and ended up in the same place after a few starts.”

Martínez, 26, has a 3.41 ERA and a 98/49 K/BB ratio in 100 1/3 innings across 18 starts this season. The Cardinals’ rotation currently features Miles Mikolas, Jack Flaherty, John Gant, Luke Weaver, and Austin Gomber.

The Cardinals entered play Monday 2.5 games out of the second Wild Card slot in the National League, so adding Martínez to the bullpen — or, subtracting him from the rotation, depending on how you look at it — could make a significant impact on the club’s playoff chances.