The Diamondbacks placed outfielder Steven Souza Jr. on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right pectoral. This is the same injury that kept Souza from making his season debut until May. Outfielder Socrates Brito has been recalled from Triple-A in a corresponding move.
Souza originally suffered the injury in the last week of Spring Training, while diving for a ball in the outfield. This second DL placement would seem to confirm that the issue was still bothering Souza, as he didn’t look at all like himself at the plate, hitting just a .163/.234/.186 over his first 47 plate appearances for Arizona. While no timeline was given about the DL placement, it’s fair to assume that Souza will miss more than the 10-day minimum absence to ensure that the injury is fully behind him.
[Updated D’Backs depth chart at Roster Resource]
After a breakout 2017 season (.239/.351/.459 with 30 homers over 617 PA) for Tampa Bay, Souza was traded to the D’Backs as part of the three-team deal with the Rays and Yankees that also saw Brandon Drury go to New York and pitching prospect Anthony Banda head to Tampa. Souza was expected to be Arizona’s everyday right fielder and at least somewhat fill the offensive gap left behind by the departed J.D. Martinez, though his injury has essentially kept him from getting out of the blocks thus far in the 2018 campaign.
Injuries to Souza, A.J. Pollock, and Jake Lamb have contributed to a lack of offensive firepower for the D’Backs, not to mention protracted slumps from Paul Goldschmidt and Alex Avila. Arizona ranks at or near the bottom of the league in runs, batting average, on-base percentage, and OPS, and the hitting drought has started to catch up with the team, as the Snakes have lost 11 of their last 12 games. Remarkably, however, the D’Backs are still hanging onto first place in the NL West.
Brito will get his first taste of the big leagues since 2016, as the 25-year-old missed a good chunk of last year recovering from finger surgery. Brito has only a .612 OPS over 131 PA with the Diamondbacks in 2015-16, though he isn’t far removed from being a pretty well-regarded prospect in Arizona’s farm system. He can play all three outfield positions, and has been hitting well at Triple-A Reno, with a .323/.365/.437 slash line over 170 PA this season.