Sorry Diamondbacks fans, but this isn't an April Fools joke.
Earlier tonight, A.J. Pollock exited a game against the Royals after sliding home. He appeared to be fine, but then immediately grabbed his elbow after trying to push himself up. Unfortunately for the Diamondbacks, Pollock won't just need a few days off, and instead will likely miss a significant amount of the season.
Chip Hale says A.J. Pollock suffered a fractured right elbow and will require surgery.— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) April 2, 2016
Pollock was coming off a tremendously successful year in which he hit .315/.367/.498 with a wOBA of .371 and a wRC+ of 132. Over the last two seasons, he's been worth 9.9 fWAR, and was expected to help lead Arizona back to the playoffs, along with Paul Goldschmidt and Zack Greinke.
This is obviously a serious blow to the Diamondbacks, and there's no clear solution on how they'll replace Pollock's production. Arizona's outfield depth was already in question, as Yasmany Tomas is still somewhat of a question mark. In place of Pollock, Socrates Brito will likely get the bulk of the playing time, but with just 34 big league plate appearances to his name, it's hard to forecast how he'll perform in an everyday role.
As of now, it's unclear just how long Pollock will be out for, but this undoubtedly changes the shape of their division. Heading into the 2016 season, it seemed like the NL West was going to be a three-team race between the Giants, Dodgers, and Diamondbacks, but without Pollock, Arizona is going to have a much tougher road ahead.
This story will be updated once more information is available.