Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo announced that outfielder Steven Souza Jr. will have season-ending surgery after suffering freak injuries during a spring training game against the Chicago White Sox on Monday:
Souza suffered the injuries after scoring on a Ketel Marte double, per Richard Morin of the Arizona Republic. The 29-year-old came in standing but appeared to skid across home plate with his left leg. He then fell to the ground in pain.
This is a devastating blow for Souza and the Diamondbacks.
The ex-Washington National and Tampa Bay Ray was coming off an injury-plagued 2018 season that limited him to just five home runs and 29 RBI in 72 games.
However, he was slated as the team's starting right fielder entering this season and could have returned to the form exhibited in his last healthy campaign, when he smacked 30 homers, earned a career-high .810 OPS and stole 16 bags in 2017.
Hopefully, Souza will be back in time for the 2020 season and can display the pop he's shown in the bigs.
Tuesday's spring training lineup perhaps offered insight as to how the Diamondbacks will replace him:
Lovullo told reporters Tuesday that newly signed outfielder Adam Jones could start in right while Ketel Marte finds a home in center.
The 33-year-old Jones, who has played in the big leagues for 13 years, had 15 home runs and 63 RBI for the Baltimore Orioles last season. The 25-year-old Marte had 14 homers and 12 triples in 2018 and has largely played middle infield during his career.
The Diamondbacks are in clear rebuilding mode after they traded franchise player Paul Goldschmidt to the St. Louis Cardinals and are currently projected by Team Rankings to finish with a 76-86 record.
Arizona could certainly beat that prediction, but the loss of Souza makes it more difficult to keep up with other teams offensively.