SportsPulse: Opening week is upon us and hope springs eternal. For The Win’s Ted Berg provides his biggest and boldest predictions for the 2019 MLB season.
The Diamondbacks were preparing for the worst with regard to right fielder Steven Souza Jr.’s knee injury. After an MRI on Tuesday, the team got the bad news it was expecting.
Souza will need to undergo season-ending knee surgery to repair a torn ACL, Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said.
Souza injured his left knee while scoring in the fourth inning on Monday night. His foot appeared to slip on home plate after he touched it on what was a routine, non-contact play.
“It didn’t look great,” Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen said. “I think everyone saw that. But we still need to go through the process with the imaging, see what it says. Fingers crossed that it’s not worst-case scenario. Unfortunately, our job is to prepare for worst-case scenario at all times.”
For now, Hazen said the Diamondbacks are planning to use Adam Jones as their primary right fielder, with Ketel Marte expected to see the bulk of the time in center field. Infielder Ildemaro Vargas, who was not with the big league team on Monday, is at Chase Field on Tuesday. Hazen called him the most-likely internal candidate to take Souza’s place on the roster.
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Another internal candidate, outfielder Socrates Brito, might no longer be one because of poor timing. Brito is on waivers and will have to clear in order for the Diamondbacks to add him to their major league roster. Hazen said the club waited as long as possible to place Brito on waivers.
“We went up until the last second we could hold him,” Hazen said. “Otherwise, he would have had to have been on the Opening Day roster. So if he didn’t make the team, we had to make that decision. We had no choice. It was a drop-dead deadline. It was an unfortunate timing circumstance.”
The Diamondbacks open the 2019 season on Thursday against the six-time defending NL West champion Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium.
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