Diamondbacks outfielder A.J. Pollock has finally found some consistency in life. After being sent up and down several times from the majors to minors in 2012, Pollock has been with the big club since Opening Day this season. The 30 games he’s played are just one away from the total he spent in the majors last year in four separate stints. “I got out of the hotel, which was nice,” Pollock said. “I was mostly staying at the Sheraton for the whole time I was up here. It is nice.” Pollock has proved he deserves to play in the big leagues for a while. He entered the Diamondbacks’ four-game home series against the Philadelphia Phillies hitting .267/.284/.495, while playing a rangy and errorless center field. He led the team in doubles (12), was tied with Paul Goldschmidt for the team lead in extra-base hits (16) and was second in RBIs (14). “He’s made huge plays for us,” manager Kirk Gibson said. “He’s very solid. We knew that, we talked about it all through spring. He’s made the most of his opportunity.” Pollock thinks the extended stay in the majors has helped his mindset. With center fielder Adam Eaton starting the season on the disabled list, the 25-year-old Pollock hasn’t had to play with an immediate fear of losing his job. He doesn’t have to worry that he’ll be sent down after one bad game. The days of being called up for just one day — as he was twice last year — are over for the moment. “Obviously, when they stick you up and down, you’re tested,” Pollock said. “You’re battle tested. I’ve come up for a day and then went back down and then come back 10 days later. It tests your mental approach.” Pollock feels more relaxed this year, and has tried not to think about what will happen when the Diamondbacks have a full contingent of outfielders. But it creeps into his head every so often. He tries to keep it at bay as much as possible. It’s not good for at-bats. “If you’re not concentrating on how to beat the pitcher and you have that in the back of your head — whether they’re thinking about me, what am I hitting, what are they going to think — it’s not a good combination,” he said.
Roster decision looms for Diamondbacks, but A.J. Pollock is playing to stay
Arizona Republic | May 10