Chicago Cubs: Analyzing key veteran depth on the roster

Steven Souza Jr. #21, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Steven Souza Jr. #21, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Souza is ready to put his injuries in the past

The “big move” of the offseason was signing free agent outfielder Steven Souza Jr. to a one-year deal. Souza missed all of 2019 due to an ACL, LCL and PCL injury in 2018 as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks. He has not played in 100+ games since 2017.

Souza is a career .233/.323/.417 hitter with a .740 OPS, 103 wRC+ and 5.6 fWAR in 471 games. He hit a career-high 30 home runs in 2017 with the Rays with a 121 wRC+. He has played virtually all of his time in the field in right outside 12 career games in center and left. Coming off injury and wanting a potential power bat in the lineup, he is likely going to see plenty of DH time while Jason Heyward plays right field.

Will Souza Jr. only serve as the DH? Not all the time. Kyle Schwarber will likely see some time at DH, as well as Rizzo to rest his back. Being a righty, Souza can be put into the lineup purely based on the pitcher matchup. If Heyward gets a start in center on occasion, then Souza can slide into right if Ross wants his bat in the lineup the same day.

If Souza is in good shape and swinging well, the Cubs potentially have another solid power producer that can draw some walks.