After several attempts, Steven Souza has finally found his way to the disabled list after being drilled by Bryan Mitchell in the 8th inning of Sunday's game. A pitch ran up and in on Souza, who had already started his swing. It was a 95 mph fastball and it hit squarely on Souza's knuckle, gashing his pinky finger open requiring stitches.
Steven Souza has struggled with his strikeouts this season, bringing much ire to Rays fans, but he's been the team's most powerful hitter, leading the team with 15 HR.
So far this year, he is slashing .210/.301/.417 with a 107 wRC+ in 79 games. Currently, he's on a pace to set a new team record for single-season K% as he sits at 35.2%. The next closest is Carlos Pena back in 2012 who finished with 30.3%; however, Souza also walks a lot to go with his high strikeout totals as he leads the active roster with a 10.4 BB%.
Although Souza does strikeout a ton, the Rays will surely miss his bat in the lineup just due to the threat he posed to the opposition. Souza also leads the team in ISO with .207 and is 5th on the team for positional player WAR with 1.4. Also, surprisingly, Souza has been the Rays biggest threat on the base-paths as he has stolen a team high 10 bases.
The Rays were waiting to make a move until John Jaso had completed his rehab assignment to make the move and with Monday's rainout, Souza's spot on the roster wasn't needed. The move can be retroactive to Sunday, meaning Souza can return on the 21st.
After missing most of last season with concussion issues, John Jaso injured himself during the first inning back on Opening Day against the Orioles. He led off the Rays offensive season with a walk. He then tried to steal second after a pitch bounced in the dirt. He dove headfirst for the bag and was thrown out easily, injuring his wrist in the process thanks the Orioles' Ryan Flaherty dropping his knee in front of the base.
It was an odd beginning to the offensive season for the Rays and proved to be ominous as several Rays players would hit the DL in the coming month due to various odd reasons. Since that time, several players (like Logan Forsythe, Joey Butler, & David DeJesus) have stepped up and kept the Rays in the hunt for October.
Heading into the season, Jaso was expected to be the Rays leadoff man. Recently, the Rays have tried several different players at the top such as Grady Sizemore and Asdrubal Cabrera, but the usually culprit has been Kevin Kiermaier. It'll be interesting to see where Cash slots him back into the order.
Over his career, which has spanned parts of six seasons, Jaso has slashed .259/.359/.399 with 32 HR over the course of 481 games giving Jaso a 118 wRC+ while he has also accumulated 7.8 WAR. Over his career, Jaso has been solid at making contact, maintaining a K% of 17.4% and a BB% of 11.3%. During his rehab assignment, Jaso slashed .250/.300/.321 over the course of eight games with Charlotte and Durham.
Although Jaso is a welcomed addition to the team, it now seems likely he'll have to battle for playing time due to the defensively troubled Grady Sizemore and Joey Butler who have taken over the DH spot. Perhaps, this will inspire the players to play even harder. Whatever the case, welcome back John Jaso.