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Souza has surgery, hopes to be at home opener

Lamb declares himself ready for third base when needed
@SteveGilbertMLB
April 2, 2019

SAN DIEGO -- D-backs outfielder Steven Souza Jr. had surgery on his left knee performed by Dr. Timothy Kremchek in Cincinnati on Tuesday. Souza sustained a torn ACL, LCL and partial tear of his PCL and posterior lateral capsule while slipping on home plate in the second-to-last exhibition game of

SAN DIEGO -- D-backs outfielder Steven Souza Jr. had surgery on his left knee performed by Dr. Timothy Kremchek in Cincinnati on Tuesday.

Souza sustained a torn ACL, LCL and partial tear of his PCL and posterior lateral capsule while slipping on home plate in the second-to-last exhibition game of the spring.

“We’re all pulling for him, for a great recovery, obviously,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “Everything went perfectly fine just the way it was anticipated. The doctors saw exactly what the MRI showed. All the necessary repairs were made, and we feel like starting today he’s going to start to come out the other end. I’ve been told it’s going to be a very grinding recovery.”

Lovullo spoke with Souza by phone and said the outfielder had one request when it came to the home opener Friday at Chase Field.

“He wants to be a part of that Opening Day,” Lovullo said. “And I told him if he’s able to and the doctors sign off on it, he can certainly join us to whatever level he could.”

Lamb ready at third
After taking ground balls at third base Monday for the first time since last season at third base, Jake Lamb told Lovullo he was comfortable to play there.

Lamb spent Spring Training focused on transitioning from third base to first, but with the hot start of first baseman Christian Walker, Lovullo wants to find a way to get both of them in the lineup at the same time.

The right-handed hitting Walker got the start Monday and Tuesday nights when the Padres started left-handed pitchers.

“You’ll see him play third base here sooner than later,” Lovullo said. “I know that Jake Lamb is going to be counted on inside of this lineup and when it’s all said and done Jake Lamb is going to have 450-500 at-bats. I still firmly feel that way.”

Time will tell
Jon Duplantier made his big league debut Monday night and picked up a three-inning save. How much longer the right-hander remains in the big leagues is uncertain.

The D-backs called up Duplantier, who is ranked as the team’s second-best prospect by MLB Pipeline, to help rest a weary bullpen. As a result, the team is carrying just four bench players rather than the usual five.

At some point, they’re going to want to get that position player back and have Duplantier back starting rather than relieving. Right now, the D-backs don’t have an opening in their rotation.

“I know that he’s one of our finest prospects and we don’t want his development to be interrupted,” Lovullo said. “We view him long term as a starter, so we’ll take what’s needed from him right now, but I think at some point we want to get him stretched out and get him to the point where he’s going to be starting some baseball games again.

“We haven’t defined a timeline for that. I think the thing that we talked about was getting our bullpen rested and back to full strength and then have that discussion.”

Injury updates
Both T.J. McFarland (shoulder inflammation) and Taijuan Walker (Tommy John surgery) threw bullpen sessions at Salt River Fields on Tuesday.

Walker, who is not expected back for a couple of months, will throw another bullpen Friday. McFarland will face hitters Saturday at the team’s Spring Training facility.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.