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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo began to make good on his promise to give his outfielders plenty of days off this season, leaving center fielder A.J. Pollock out of the lineup on Saturday against the Cleveland Indians.

Lovullo said he planned the day off around the fact that the club plays a day game on Sunday, and he said he expects to continue to be proactive in his attempts to keep his best players as fresh and as healthy as possible.

Jeremy Hazelbaker, who has played a big role off the bench in the season’s first week, got the start in place of Pollock.

“We want to make sure everybody is strong in August and September, when hopefully we’re playing some really meaningful games and they’re full speed ahead,” Lovullo said. “We don’t want to put anybody in harm’s way, and knowing what the track record with A.J. was last year, missing a lot of time, it just makes sense for us to pull back when we need to.”

Pollock said he didn’t have a problem with Lovullo’s decision, noting the impact Hazelbaker has made off the bench and the importance for him to get at-bats.

“All that stuff is his decision on everything,” Pollock said of Lovullo. “I’m trying to get my body in the best possible shape to play every single day. If it’s the time when he thinks somebody else should be in there, or if it’s for a break or whatever, those guys are thinking that stuff out. I’m working on making sure my body is feeling good and staying as fresh as I can.”

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New positioning

When shifting their infielders this season, the Diamondbacks have been using their shortstop on the right side of second base, a change from last year when it was usually the third baseman, often Jake Lamb, who would move over, leaving the shortstop alone on the left side of the diamond.

This year, it’s been Lamb who is alone on the left side. He said he has no preference on where the team plays him; the club decided it would rather have him on the left side.

“It makes sense,” he said. “We’re in the shift in the first place because a high percentage of balls go to that side. Why not have your top two guys over there, especially your quickest guys?

“I’m not offended. I don’t really care where I play in that shift. I try to take reps at every spot just in case something happens and they want me on that side. I turn double plays over there, feeds, all that stuff.”

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Thole sighting

A little less than two weeks removed from undergoing surgery to repair a torn hamstring, catcher Josh Thole was at the park on Saturday, leaning on a pair of crutches while he caught up with teammates in the dugout during batting practice.

“I had two ligaments that were separated from the bone and they just went in and reattached them,” Thole said. “I’m glad I got it fixed, though. I was going to try to rehab it and then it didn’t make sense. Then (the doctor) went in there and he told me at the end that it was better that I opted for surgery.”

Thole, who won’t be able to ramp up activities for four months, said he’s considering playing winter ball as a way to limit his time away from competition.

“I think that might be a good idea,” Thole said. “I’d have to find a good landing spot. It’s something I’d have to consider. I have a family at home, too, but it’s something to talk about.”

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Short hops

  • Lovullo said rehabbing right-handers Jake Barrett (shoulder) and Rubby De La Rosa (elbow) threw living batting practice sessions on Saturday. He did not offer a timetable for their returns.
  • Outfielder Gregor Blanco (oblique) began a throwing program on Friday, but his progress seems to be moving slowly.
  • Lovullo said the Diamondbacks plan to stay in rotation through Thursday’s off day, giving each of his starters an extra day of rest.

Reach Piecoro at (602) 444-8680 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @nickpiecoro.

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Sunday’s game

Indians at Diamondbacks

When: 1:10 p.m.

Where: Chase Field (Roof hotline: 602-462-6262).

Pitchers: Diamondbacks LHP Patrick Corbin (0-1, 4.50) vs. Indians RHP Corey Kluber (0-0, 7.50).

TV/Radio: FSAZ/KMVP-FM (98.7), KHOV-FM (105.1).

Corbin lasted just four innings in his first start of the year, departing for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the fourth inning against the Giants. He gave up three runs (two earned) on seven hits and two walks. … He continued to have trouble with RF Hunter Pence, who hit two balls hard against him, including one that went for a double. … Kluber had a somewhat rough first start against the Rangers, giving up five runs in six innings and serving up a pair of home runs to 2B Rougned Odor. … Kluber finished third in AL Cy Young voting last season; he won the award in 2014. … That was the year he made his lone career start against the Diamondbacks, tossing seven scoreless innings with one walk and eight strikeouts in a game at Chase Field.

Coming up

Monday: At San Francisco, 1:35 p.m., Diamondbacks RHP Taijuan Walker (1-0, 6.00) vs. Giants LHP Matt Moore (0-1, 5.06).

Tuesday: At San Francisco, 7:15 p.m., Diamondbacks LHP Robbie Ray (0-0, 4.76) vs. Giants RHP Jeff Samardzija (0-1, 10.13).

Wednesday: At San Francisco, 7:15 p.m., Diamondbacks RHP Shelby Miller (1-0, 5.06) vs. Giants RHP Matt Cain (0-0, 8.31).