4/25/2014 7:54 P.M. ET
Ailing neck healed, Pollock returns to lineup
By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- A.J. Pollock was back in the D-backs' starting lineup batting sixth and playing center field on Friday night for the opening of a three-game series against the Phillies at Chase Field.
He was removed from a game Sunday against the Dodgers in Los Angeles because of tightness on the left side of his neck and hasn't started since then.
"Yeah, I've been itching the last few games to get in there," Pollack said in the clubhouse prior to batting practice. "I was ready to go [Thursday], but it's probably wise that I didn't play. So the extra day, with the flight, just wanted to come in today and make sure everything was good. And it is."
With Mark Trumbo on the 15-day disabled list because of a stress fracture in his left foot and Cody Ross being given a game off in his comeback from last year's severe hip injury and surgery, the D-backs had a shortage of top-line outfielders on Friday.
The starters from left to right were Tony Campana, Pollock and Gerardo Parra with newcomer Roger Kieschnick on the bench. Kieschnick replaced Trumbo on the 25-man roster on Thursday in Chicago.
Pollock is batting .235 with a homer and two RBIs in 21 games. Trumbo leads the club with seven homers and 19 RBIs.
"I want to get in there," Pollock said. "I want to contribute to the team and help win. The injury was kind of a shocker. It happened just taking a swing against [Josh] Beckett. It was a curveball and I was out in front. Right when it happened, it was a jolt in the upper back area. It was one of those things I was hoping was going to loosen up as the game went on.
"It just got worse and worse to a point where I had trouble picking my head up in the field. Some guys who had it said it usually took around four or five days. It's four days now so I'm good."
Trumbo expects to be sidelined at least six weeks
PHOENIX -- Though the results of the CAT scan on Mark Trumbo's injured left foot weren't released by the D-backs before their game against the Phillies on Friday, the Arizona slugger told the assembled media in the clubhouse that he expects to be out at least six weeks with what he described as a stress fracture of the metatarsal bone.
"The best case is that it goes by quickly and we win a lot of games," said Trumbo, wearing a black walking cast with a sonar device that sends steady healing signals into the injured area. "The best medicine for anything is that the team's doing well, you progress on time, and you're ready to go when you're supposed to."
The D-backs placed the left fielder, who leads the team with seven homers and 19 RBIs, on the 15-day disabled list Thursday before the final game of a four-game series against the Cubs in Chicago.
"We know regardless it's going to lengthy," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said on Friday. "I don't know exactly what else to tell you at this time."
Trumbo began feeling the effects of the injury during Monday night's game at Wrigley Field and an MRI revealed the extent of the damage. He saw D-backs orthopedic specialist Dr. Michael Lee, who administered the CAT scan on Friday, and he expects to see a couple of other specialists in the upcoming days.
"But I don't think there's much room for error in the diagnosis," he said.
Trumbo joins the walking wounded in the room that includes pitchers Patrick Corbin, Daniel Hudson, Matt Reynolds and David Hernandez, all in different phases of recovery from Tommy John elbow ligament replacement therapy. Cody Ross, coming back from last season's severe hip injury and surgery, was held out of the lineup against the Phillies at Chase Field.
Trumbo was obtained this past offseason in a deal with the Angels that sent pitcher Tyler Skaggs to Los Angeles. It was anticipated that he would bolster the lineup and augment power displayed by first baseman Paul Goldschmidt. Despite hitting .210 with a .264 on-base percentage in 21 games, Trumbo was already doing just that.
Asked how the D-Backs would replace Trumbo's presence in the lineup, backup infielder Eric Chavez said: "You don't."
"We just need contributions from others," Gibson said. "We have some depth out there. We have other guys who need to play more than if [Trumbo] was in the rotation."
Gibson grateful for support, but is focused on winning
PHOENIX -- A day after Miguel Montero came to the defense of manager Kirk Gibson and general manager Kevin Towers, the D-backs catcher reiterated his point and was backed up by utility infielder Eric Chavez.
Gibson said thanks, but no thanks.
"When you get into the kind of situation we're in, you're going to have comments from different people and different perspectives," Gibson said before his 7-18 club opened a three-game series against the Phillies at Chase Field on Friday night. "I'm focused on trying to prepare these guys to be successful. From the media, there are guys on both sides of the aisle.
"We're pretty open right now. We're pretty susceptible. Take your shots. I've supported Miggy all along. You know how I feel about him and it seems the feeling is mutual. Obviously, it's greatly appreciated. Yet, that doesn't get us a win. We have to be prepared to win the game."
Gibson said he has spoken regularly to managing partner Ken Kendrick and team president Derrick Hall and "they've been great since the day I got here and they continue to be that way."
"I'm just going to tell you guys don't ask me about it every day because I won't respond to it," Gibson said. "I go out there and bust my [butt]. I'm a believer that we can fix the position that we are in and I'll push that way one way or the other."
Montero didn't back down from his statements made Thursday after the game at Wrigley Field.
"The bottom line, like I said [Thursday], is we should go out there and play better baseball," Montero said. "We're in here every day trying to get better. Those guys are out there doing the best they can for us, trying to make it easier for us to go out there and perform. They prepare every day. Maybe we need to prepare ourselves better as players. The coaches have done everything they can to help us win a ballgame.
"The bottom line is we've got to play good baseball. We've got to pitch good, we have to hit good, and we have to play good defense, period. We haven't done none of those three."
Because of all that, Montero added, he's uncomfortable hearing all the comments about the tenuous footing Gibson and Towers may be on at the moment. Chavez agreed.
"It's our fault, 100 percent," he said. "If everybody doesn't look at what ownership did and the money they spent bringing in players to try and better this team to put us in position … Granted, we lose our No. 1 starter and one of our top guys out of the 'pen, that's going to hurt anybody. Good teams overcome injuries. But the kind of start we got off to, I don't know how you can explain that. I don't think you can blame that on anything except that we've just played horribly and the numbers don't lie."
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.