A.J. Pollock wasn’t in the Dodgers lineup for the third straight game Wednesday as he nursed a sore groin, but he made a pinch-hit appearance in the eighth inning and manager Dave Roberts said the outfielder is expected to start Friday against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Pollock, 31, has appeared in only 46 games after signing a four-year, $60-million contract during the winter. He has dealt with groin injuries in previous years. The latest trouble surfaced Aug. 1. He sat out the next two games before returning to hit a double and home run Sunday. He hasn’t started since.
“The groin has always been something that he’s kind of had to deal with when he’s come back,” Roberts said. “And so knowing the history and knowing where he’s at right now, just to make sure that we do everything we can to get him back to complete health. But it’s really not a concern, just more being extra cautious.”
Pollock struggled in April before suffering an elbow infection that sidelined him for more than two months. Since returning July 12, the first game after the All-Star break, he is batting .313 with six home runs and a 1.000 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in 18 games.
With Alex Verdugo on the injured list because of an oblique strain, Cody Bellinger made his first start in center field this season in Pollock’s place.
Chris Taylor will head to the Dodgers’ spring-training facility in Arizona when the team travels to face the Miami Marlins next week. Roberts said Taylor has been swinging in the batting cage but hasn’t faced live pitching. Taylor has been on the IL since July 15 because of a fractured left forearm.
Enrique Hernandez will join the club on its trip, Roberts said. Hernandez was placed on the IL on July 29 because of a left hand sprain. Roberts said Hernandez and Taylor are “in the same bucket” in their recoveries.
With a quick turnaround after Tuesday night’s game, Walker Buehler threw a bullpen session during the first inning of Wednesday’s game. Buehler is scheduled to start Friday. ... Edwin Rios made his first start since returning to the Dodgers at first base and doubled. ... Jack Flaherty, a Harvard-Westlake High product, dropped his career earned-run average to 1.16 in four starts against the Dodgers after tossing seven scoreless innings.