Chicago Cubs: Why I was wrong about Steven Souza Jr.
Chicago Cubs: Swinging Steven Souza Jr.
All eyes were on Souza as spring training kicked in. How would his knee hold up? Would he be able to sprint to the ball in the outfield? Some unknowns were going forward with Souza in the lineup.
Then Souza started crushing the ball and racking up doubles better than anyone on the Cubs, and I felt myself shrinking. Souza must have taken the ‘put-down’ as a challenge, which is something all professionals tend to do because his bat has been on fire ever since.
On Wednesday, when the Cubs took on the San Diego Padres Marquee Sports Network announcer and former Cubs first baseman, Mark Grace asked Souza during the game, after all his injuries, how it felt to get back on the field competitively?
"“It feels amazing. It was a grind over there, I felt terrible for… you know, it was out of my control a lot of the stuff but just to not be able to be on the field doing what I love doing with the ability that God gave me… and to go out there (now) and have so much fun; this game is so much fun to me and I just really enjoy it. So to get back healthy and back to normal, it’s really a blessing that I don’t take for granted anymore,” Souza told Grace from the dugout during the game broadcast at Sloan Park in Mesa, Arizona."
Souza should have been hyped up as he came into the game with a .300 batting average, two doubles, two RBIs, six hits and three walks. Souza got on base Wednesday on an error, but that’s just where he intends to be when his number is called – getting on base. That might seem a little strange for a power hitter who had 70 home runs with a .740 OPS in his five seasons in the big leagues.
But Souza is making his return to the game serious and in steps, but the question lingers whether Souza can ever return as power-hitter as reported by Doug Padilla in the Chicago Sun-Times:
"“That’s been a big question from everybody, right? Is my power still there?” Souza said. “For me it hasn’t even been a question. For me, I got into a ball in live [batting practice], but that doesn’t matter. To hit that ball and go to dead center, which is where my power is, it’s just another check point.”"
This is why I may just owe, ‘Swinging Souza’ an apology… or do I?