Ability to throw will determine if Souza hits DL

Lovullo: 'We want to exhaust every opportunity we can' before making call

May 21st, 2018

MILWAUKEE -- Steven Souza Jr., who sustained a right pectoral strain Friday in New York, still is not ready to throw, but the D-backs are hoping to avoid placing the outfielder back on the disabled list. 

Souza, acquired in an offseason trade with Tampa after hitting 30 homers last season for the Rays, began the season on the DL after injuring his right pectoral injury in Spring Training and was not activated until May 3. He had an MRI Saturday that was reviewed Monday by team physician Gary Waslewski.

"We basically just got the word," manager Torey Lovullo said before Monday's series opener against the Brewers at Miller Park. "He reaggravated it, that same, original injury, and it basically confirmed exactly what everybody was saying in New York. We just wanted to let our medical team get their arms around it. For the time being, we're going to stay under the same guidelines. ... I think the worst-case scenario would be that there was a new injury and he's going to need to step out and miss time.

Souza pinch-hit for starting pitcher Zack Greinke with two outs in the seventh inning of Monday's 4-2 loss and struck out swinging.

"[Souza] came to me and said he was that he was ready and he was able to swing the bat, which was a good sign." Lovullo said after the game. "... I think we have a little bit more testing that we've got to walk through with him. He's got to be able to pick up a baseball and throw it. We'll probably get a chance to see how that goes tomorrow."

The D-backs, already without injured outfielder A.J. Pollock for four to eight weeks (fractured thumb), are hoping to avoid putting Souza back on the DL, even though it means playing with a short roster.

"I think we want to exhaust every opportunity we can to allow him to be healthy before we make that decision," Lovullo said. "... At times yesterday I couldn't do things that I wanted to. ... It limits you, but we're willing to wait for Steven. That's how important he is to this team."

After the three-game series in Milwaukee, the D-backs have an off-day before heading to Oakland for an Interleague series, where Souza could be used as the DH.

"Yes, we've talked about that as well," Lovullo said. "We know we have those three games coming up in Oakland. We're going to try to manage it the best way we can. We haven't totally walked through every scenario."

Worth noting

• Right-hander , who allowed one run on two hits in five innings in Sunday's 4-1 loss to the Mets after being called up from Triple-A Reno on Saturday, is going to get another start, Lovullo said.

• Right-hander , (60-day DL, recovery from Tommy John surgery) is scheduled to throw Wednesday in extended spring training.

• Lefty Robbie Ray (10-day DL, strained right oblique) played catch at 100 feet Monday, which Lovullo said went well.

• Right-hander (60-day DL, left oblique strain) had a throwing program Monday and was scheduled for a bullpen session Tuesday.