Can Steven Souza Jr. Stick with Dodgers Long Term?

Because of the overwhelming number of injuries, the Los Angeles Dodgers have sent a whopping 21 different position players to the plate this season to face opposing pitching. From prospects to journeymen to career minor leaguers, there has been no limit on who the club might select to fill a specific role.

Early in the year, we saw a handful of prospects used to provide depth in the forms of Keibert Ruiz, Edwin Rios, DJ Peters, Sheldon Neuse, and Luke Raley, although the latter four players have probably surpassed their prospect qualifications because of age. A new trend has seen the club purchase the contracts of a few veterans, including Andy Burns and Steven Souza Jr. on the field, in addition to Nate Jones and Mike Kickham, who were both used earlier this year in pitching roles.

In Friday night’s opener against the Diamondbacks, the righty hitting Souza ended up being one of the heroes of the game, as his solo shot in the eighth inning provided the team with a spark of offense that was previously nowhere in sight. The 32-year-old Souza also made an impressive catch in foul ground down the right field line in the seventh inning that might prove important when determining his future role with the team.

Souza has only played two games with the Dodgers so far, but he logged 22 games at Triple-A Oklahoma City earlier in the year, producing a .280/.444/.603 slash line alongside six homers, four doubles, and 16 RBI. More importantly, he saw time at all three outfield spots and even made two appearances at first base, which no doubt weighed heavily in his activation to the parent club.

Obviously, it’s impossible to accurately predict how much Souza will contribute to the Dodgers moving forward. Quite simply, there’s no way to tell if he can stay healthy after suffering an injury that tore apart his left knee back in 2019. He tried to stick with the Cubs last year, but the two sides parted ways after he slashed just .148/.258/.333 in 31 plate appearances. Souza spent 2021 spring training with the Astros, but he didn’t make the team after going just 2-for-21 with 13 strikeouts in 27 plate appearances.

Right now, Souza doesn’t have any team options, but it’s still hard to say if he’ll stick around if he produces at a decent level. Soon, the club will need to make room for the returns of Max Muncy, Corey Seager, and Cody Bellinger, so there will be players bumped around in the process.

When healthy, the Los Angeles primary outfield consists of Bellinger, Mookie Betts and AJ Pollock, with Chris Taylor, Matt Beaty, and Zach McKinstry providing another tier of depth. Both Taylor and McKinstry have seen significant time in the infield this season, but that might diminish with a healthy Seager and Muncy back in the lineup. Conceivably, if he does continue to productively contribute, the decision to retain Souza might come down to optioning either McKinstry or Beaty back to Triple-A, assuming that Burns might be the first victim of the roster crunch. Certainly, all that hypothetical thinking depends on the concept of the Dodgers staying healthy, which so far this season they haven’t been able to do.

Moreover, with only about six weeks left before the 2021 summer trade deadline, the Dodgers might have a plentiful stock of resources to use when making prospective player improvements to the active roster.

Even if Souza ends up getting bumped by the Dodgers to create roster space, he could find an opportunity elsewhere in the league, should he be able to avoid injury and stay on track with his production.

Although Souza has never been a player to hit for a high average, he has shown flashes of outstanding power at some points of his career. For the Rays in 2017, he slugged 30 long balls and 21 doubles for the Rays over 148 games.

Dodgers Off Day News and Notes: Cleavinger, Santana, Ravelo, More

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After taking two of three from the Philadelphia Phillies, the Los Angeles Dodgers are enjoying an off day before they head out on an NL West road trip to Arizona and San Diego.

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Dodgers News and Notes- Roster Moves, Injury Reports, All-Star Voting and More

The Los Angeles Dodgers had a historic first inning on Wednesday evening, when they scored 11 runs in the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals.

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Is Chris Taylor a 2021 All Star?

The highlight of Monday’s 9-4 Dodger win over the Cardinals was a bases-loaded double by Chris Taylor during a 14-pitch at-bat in the bottom of the sixth inning. It gave the Dodgers a 6-3 lead after having trailed 3-2. 

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Can the Streaky Dodgers Start Finding Consistent Success?

Will the real Los Angeles Dodgers please stand up?

So far this season, the Boys in Blue have had four peaks and valleys. They have had streaks of 13-2, 5-15, 13-2, and now they are on an 0-3 run.

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Dodgers Activate Cody Bellinger, Zach McKinstry

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The Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday morning activated outfielder Cody Bellinger and utilityman Zach McKinstry from the injured list after optioning outfielder DJ Peters and utilityman Sheldon Neuse back to Triple-A Oklahoma City, according to a team announcement.

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Dodgers News and Notes: NL West Standings, Mookie Betts’ Health, and More

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The Los Angeles Dodgers have finally lost a game in the Albert Pujols Era.

It was, of course, too good to be true, that the Dodgers would not lose again simply because Pujols is now on the team, but it was fun while it lasted. Their loss Wednesday night to the Houston Astros snapped an eight-game winning streak.

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How Will Cody Bellinger and Zach McKinstry Fit Back into Dodgers’ Lineup?

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The idea that the Los Angeles Dodgers could benefit from several offensive reinforcements after winning 12 of their last 13 contests might seem a bit unthinkable. However, their skid of losing 15 of 20 games not long ago may suggest otherwise.

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Dodgers News and Notes Ahead of Showdown with San Francisco Giants

In this roller coaster of a season, the Los Angeles Dodgers are back on the top of the hill, having won eight of their last ten games. It is the right time for the Dodgers to get hot, as their three toughest series of the year are about to start.

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Dodgers Acquire Yoshitomo Tsutsugo from Tampa Bay Rays

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The Los Angeles Dodgers have been hit increasingly hard with injuries so far this season. After only a month and a half into the season, the Dodgers have 14 players who they thought would figure prominently in the season on the injured list.

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