The Dodgers announced they have selected outfielder Steven Souza Jr. to the big league club. Utilityman Zach McKinstry was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City to open an active roster spot, while reliever Garrett Cleavinger has been transferred from the 10-day to the 60-day injured list to clear 40-man roster space.
Souza is up for his second stint of the season with L.A. Signed to a minor league deal at the end of Spring Training, Souza was promoted to the big leagues in mid-June. He wound up designated for assignment after just thirteen games. After passing through waivers and very briefly reaching free agency, Souza signed a new minors pact with the Dodgers and has been with Oklahoma City over the past couple months.
A seven-year big league veteran, Souza had a strong year with the Rays in 2017, hitting .239/.351/.459 and popping thirty homers. He floundered upon being traded to Arizona that offseason, though, and he hasn’t gotten much big league time since suffering a catastrophic knee injury in Spring Training of 2019 that cost him that entire season. The 32-year-old has performed well with Oklahoma City this season, though, hitting .247/.387/.504 with nine home runs and a massive 16.7% walk rate over 186 plate appearances at the minors’ top level. Because Souza was in the Dodgers’ organization by August 31, he will be eligible for their postseason roster even though his addition to the 40-man roster comes during the month of September.
Cleavinger landed on the 10-day IL on August 8 because of a right oblique strain. Today’s transfer rules him out for sixty days from that date, so his regular season is officially over. Cleavinger could’ve theoretically make it back if the Dodgers go on a deep postseason run, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters (including Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register) that he won’t return this year. Acquired from the Phillies over the offseason, Cleavinger gave Los Angeles eighteen innings of eleven-run ball (six earned) in his first season with the club.