PHOENIX — After a frustrating, injury-riddled 2018, Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Steven Souza Jr. was all set to show Valley fans what he can do in 2019.
But Souza's season was once again cut short during an exhibition game when he suffered an injury in a bizarre play at home plate.
During that game on March 26, Souza landed awkwardly on the plate as he scored, and he then collapsed to the ground in pain. He was eventually helped off the field.
Souza learned the next day that he had torn the ACL, LCL, PCL and posterior lateral capsule in his left knee, ending his 2019 season before it began.
Souza scores but not without cost... pic.twitter.com/ndGmqdmzgW— darwin campbell (@dlcampbell00) March 26, 2019
"It’s been frustrating since I’ve been here. For the fans, for myself, for my family, it’s just been a tough two years," Souza said Friday before the D-backs' home opener vs. the Boston Red Sox. "It just means a lot for me to show the fans that I’m still here, still working hard, I’m still trying to do everything I can to get back out there."
The 29-year-old Souza was acquired by the D-backs in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays before the 2018 regular season but missed significant playing time in his first season in Arizona due to a strained pectoral muscle. He played in just 72 games for the D-backs last season, after hitting 30 home runs and 78 RBIs for the Rays in 2017.
"I just want to be back out playing baseball, I think, more than anything," he said. "I can play this game, and I don’t want people to forget that, especially the Arizona fans.
"I’ve been here for 60 games, but you better believe I can play this game, and I’m going to come back and I’m going to play this game at a high level, and I’m going to show you that, no matter what’s happened in the past, that I can play this game. That’s what I’ve got my mind on," he said. "I’ve got my mind set on, I believe God is going to heal me and he’s going to heal me 100 percent, and when I come back, I’m going to (do) the rest of my career what I was doing in the past."