While the Los Angeles Dodgers have their Opening Day roster set and in place to be made official on Thursday, the team additionally must decide on a player pool and remain mindful of a Minor League season.
That of course was not the case last year as the MLB season was shortened to 60 games and the entire Minor League campaign was cancelled. Teams established a 60-man player that they were able to select from throughout the course of the year.
With the Minor Leagues levels expected to begin their respective seasons in May, organizational depth and prospects will again be highlighted. Presumably with that in mind, the Dodgers signed Steven Souza Jr. to a Minor League contract, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network:
Steven Souza Jr. is joining the Dodgers on a minors deal. Good talent, just needs to regain timing.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 31, 2021
Souza signed a Minor League contract with the Houston Astros during the offseason and went into Spring Training vying to be the team’s fourth outfielder. However, the 31-year-old went just 2-for-21 with a home run, two RBI, five walks and 13 strikeouts over 14 games before being released.
Souza’s last full season in the Majors came in 2017 with the Tampa Bay Rays. He batted .239/.351/.459 and set career highs with 21 doubles, 30 home runs and 78 RBI.
Souza joined the Arizona Diamondbacks for the 2018 season and missed all of 2019 after suffering a left knee injury during Spring Training. It required season-ending surgery to repair a torn ACL, torn LCL, partially torn PCL and a posterolateral capsule tear.
The Dodgers presumably will have Souza join their Triple-A Oklahoma City affiliate, whose season is scheduled to begin Thursday, May 6.
Dodgers give Alexander nod
After naming Dustin May the fifth starter and announcing Zach McKinstry had earned the final bench spot, the last decision for the Dodgers with respect to their Opening Day roster lied in the bullpen.
The team was selecting from Scott Alexander and Dennis Santana, and wound up electing for the southpaw. “We thought Dennis had a great spring and really impressed with his progress, command and all that stuff. There’s really no viable reason or answer,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
“It’s just more of a numbers game. We just felt right now, Scott has earned that roster spot.”
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, participate in our shows and giveaways, and more!