PHOENIX — A.J. Pollock emerged as one of baseball's best players a year ago. Now the Diamondbacks All-Star centerfielder has to sit, rehab and wait after fracturing his right elbow in a headfirst slide into home.
His arm in a sling, Pollock put his best face on the situation Saturday.
"It almost felt like a nightmare, like it really wasn't happening," Pollock said of the moments after the injury during Friday night's Cactus League game. "But (Saturday) it's sunk in. Now it's kind of get prepared for what's next."
He said it wasn't the slide that hurt the elbow but pushing himself back to his feet with the arm afterward.
Pollock had missed most of spring training because of a sore elbow and had talked to doctors about what would happen if a more serious injury occurred.
"It's frustrating because how amazing I feel like our team is, and they're still going to be great," he said.
Pollock will have surgery in the next few days, probably Tuesday. There is no timetable for his return, but he's aiming to come back this season.
THE SHORT STORY: As the Rockies awaited a decision from Major League Baseball on the status of Jose Reyes, manager Walt Weiss made it clear that rookie Trevor Story is their long-term shortstop. Weiss said he has "no idea" when commissioner Rob Manfred will decide on any punishment for Reyes, 32, who spent all of spring training on paid leave while facing domestic violence charges.
MONTREAL SERIES: Saturday's crowd of 53,420 topped the 52,682 that turned out Friday night for the games between the Blue Jays and Red Sox.
INDIANS: Outfielder Michael Brantley, recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, said he was excited by his session in a batting cage. "It went really well," he said. "Good progress. See how I respond" today.
NATIONALS: Right-hander Stephen Strasburg will start the second game of the season at the Braves, a switch from the original plan. Manager Dusty Baker had said this spring that right-hander Gio Gonzalez would pitch Wednesday.
YANKEES: Left-hander Andrew Miller made his first appearance since breaking a bone in his non-throwing wrist Wednesday. He faced three Marlins batters, walking one and striking out one. "I felt great," Miller said. "I don't think it was a distraction."