After Souza Jr.’s injury, D-backs on constant lookout for upgrades

Mar 27, 2019, 11:03 AM | Updated: 11:38 am
Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen joins The Doug & Wolf Show for an interview on ...
Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen joins The Doug & Wolf Show for an interview on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station on Feb. 14, 2019. (Arizona Sports/Matt Layman)
(Arizona Sports/Matt Layman)

Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen isn’t wanting to stand pat following a season-ending injury to outfielder Steven Souza Jr.

Even with capable fill-in options as things stand a day before the season begins, the D-backs will pursue additions to make up for the loss of Souza, who on Monday tore his ACL, LCL and posterolateral capsule; and suffered a partial PCL tear in his left knee.

Because the injury happened three days before 2019 Opening Day, Arizona finds itself in a difficult position, Hazen told Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

“The unfortunate part about having an injury at this point in time is there’s not a lot out there because teams are going into the season and you rarely see trades in April and May,” Hazen said on Wednesday. “I think when we did the Jon Jay trade (on June 6) last year, I mean, that’s about as early as I can remember a trade like that happening, at least as far as I was involved with. It’s not really typical that you’re going to have trade opportunities, even with dead-selling teams, early on in the season.”

Arizona was set up to at least somewhat absorb such a big blow to its roster.

The Diamondbacks inked veteran outfielder Adam Jones on March 11, and that appeared to push infielder Ketel Marte back to the infield after he spent spring training practicing in center field.

Now that Souza is out for the year, the right field position opened up. Jones can slide there, while Marte and Jarrod Dyson can now be the main center fielders.

The timing of Souza’s injury was also unfortunate in another way.

The D-backs were unable to consider Socrates Brito as an option after putting him on waivers before Souza hurt himself. Brito was claimed off waivers by the San Diego Padres on Wednesday, reports’s Nick Piecoro.

As is, Arizona will now rely more on unproven players. Marte’s athleticism and a strong spring of fielding in center may end up working out, but he lacks MLB experience at the position.

The D-backs moving him off second base hurts a team known as one of the best defensive squads in MLB. Veteran Wilmer Flores can play second but isn’t known as a defensive ace, and Ildemaro Vargas, who presumably will make the roster because of Souza’s injury, has just 26 games of major league experience.

“I think we are going to be constantly looking to upgrade the roster because of what just happened, starting on Day 1, no matter what,” Hazen said. “Having said that, I do think with the signing of Adam Jones … we are a little better situated to withstand this.”

Penguin Air

Arizona Diamondbacks

Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo gives a fist bump to Daulton Varsho after their 5-2 win ...
Associated Press

Offense pops in 5th inning and Kelly stops Giants again in D-backs win

Arizona right-hander Merrill Kelly kept up his mastery of the San Francisco Giants this season, pitching the D-backs to a win Saturday night.
1 day ago
Sergio Alcantara #43 of the Arizona Diamondbacks throws to first for an out during the fifth inning...
Kellan Olson

Arizona Diamondbacks lose to Giants, fall in 9th inning for 2nd straight night

For the second straight night, the Arizona Diamondbacks lost in the ninth inning.
2 days ago
Tommy Henry #47 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches during the first inning of the game against the...
Jake Anderson

D-backs recall Tommy Henry, Pavin Smith from Reno; option Tyler Holton

The D-backs made a handful of roster moves on Friday that included LHP Tommy Henry, OF/1B Pavin Smith, LHP Tyler Holton and OF Jake McCarthy.
2 days ago
Zac Gallen #23 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first...
Associated Press

Zac Gallen’s career night spoiled by latest D-backs bullpen loss vs. LAD

Zac Gallen had a career-high 13 strikeouts and 8.0 innings pitched but the Arizona Diamondbacks' bullpen blew another lead in the ninth.
3 days ago
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Drey Jameson throws to the plate during the first inning of a...
Jordan Leandre

Arizona Diamondbacks throw the numbers out for pitching prospects

Arizona Diamondbacks senior VP and assistant GM Amiel Sawdaye said they have to look more at a Reno pitcher's stuff than their numbers.
3 days ago
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner throws to the plate during the sixth inning...
Associated Press

Madison Bumgarner gets 1st win since July, D-backs beat Dodgers

Madison Bumgarner tossed six innings of one-hit ball, giving him his first win in nearly two months, and the Diamondbacks beat the Dodgers.
4 days ago
After Souza Jr.’s injury, D-backs on constant lookout for upgrades