Souza injures shoulder after crashing into wall
ATLANTA -- Nationals right fielder Steven Souza Jr. left Friday's 7-6 loss to the Braves in the bottom of the third inning because of left shoulder inflammation. As of now, Souza is not going on the disabled list, but it is almost certain that he will not play for a couple of days.
The injury occurred in the bottom of the second inning when Souza crashed into the right-field wall. With Atlanta leading, 4-0, Freddie Freeman swung at a 2-1 pitch from right-hander Stephen Strasburg and hit a long drive to right field. Souza chased after the ball and collided with the wall at full speed as the ball went over the fence for a two-run homer.
Souza was on the ground for at least a minute, while manager Matt Williams, athletic trainer Lee Kuntz and several teammates came to his aide.
"I think what kind of scared me was the speed that I was running at [as I was] coming down," Souza said. "The head is fine, everything is fine. I just jammed the shoulder pretty hard. I need a couple of days rest and it will be OK."
Souza got up on his own power. He then took swings in the indoor batting cage and said that he was OK. Souza was able to get an at-bat in the top of the third inning. He lined out hard to shortstop Ramiro Pena, but during the at-bat, Souza aggravated the shoulder and was taken out of the game immediately thereafter.
"I didn't want to start giving away at-bats and just be a prideful player," Souza said. "Get someone in there who can have quality ABs. I was trying to play through it, trying to let the shoulder calm down. It just didn't work out."
Kevin Frandsen replaced Souza and entered the game to play left field, while Bryce Harper moved from left to right.
Strasburg said he appreciated the effort Souza made.
"Once he gets more and more playing time, he will have a lot better awareness [about which] balls are not going to be caught," Strasburg said.