Sunday, December 17, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays' Souza to have season-ending hip surgery

ST. PETERSBURG — OF Steven Souza Jr. will miss the final two weeks of this season to have left hip surgery that he hopes leads to him being able to play all of next season.

Souza told the Tampa Bay Times the arthroscopic procedure is designed to "clean out the joint," thus alleviating an impingement that has caused pinching in the labrum. The surgery will be done by specialist Dr. Thomas Byrd in Nashville.

Souza said he will be on crutches for four weeks but should be able to start running in early December and expects to participate fully at the start of spring training.

"I'll be ready to go," he said.

Souza finishes his second season with the Rays hitting .247 with 17 homers, 49 RBIs, 159 strikeouts (in 120 games) and a .712 OPS, confident that a simplified approach that led to a recent improvement will carry over.

"I felt like I had some really good months in there and I had some really bad months in there," Souza said. "I feel like I showed I have the ability to play at this level for a long time. The challenge is doing it on a day-in, day-out basis, and responsibility for that consistency is up to me."

The hip issue surfaced in June, leading to a 17-game stint on the DL, and has been resurfacing at times since, so Souza said it made the most sense to have a "minor" procedure done now.

"I really want to have a healthy 2017, have a full healthy year," Souza said. "No excuses, go out and compete for 162 games."

LOMO, TOO: 1B/DH Logan Morrison said he will have surgery Wednesday to repair a torn sheath in his left wrist and faces a 12-week rehab. Morrison, who hit .238 with 14 homers, 43 RBIs and a .733 OPS in 107 games, is headed to free agency.

MORE MEDICAL: The Rays should have updates today on INF/OF Nick Franklin, who was to have an MRI exam on the left hamstring he strained Thursday, and LHP Xavier Cedeno, who hasn't pitched since Aug. 29 due to neck stiffness.

NEW FACES: The Rays return home today with four people in uniform who weren't with them for their last home game Sept. 7: new hitting coach Chad Mottola, SS Alexei Ramirez, LHP Dana Eveland and OF Jaff Decker.

FINISHING STRONG: After spending most of their seasons at Triple-A Durham, both RHP Danny Farquhar and Eveland have been pitching well, and often, out of the Rays pen.

Farquhar, with the benefit of a biting changeup, has posted a 1.31 ERA in 19 appearances since his Aug. 6 recall and hasn't been charged with a run in his past 12 appearances.

Eveland, who was brought back a week after Durham's season ended for another look, has been used in some key situations against tough lefties, and with some success.

"Getting into those situations a little more consistently is going to make me a better pitcher, and a little more comfortable in those situations," Eveland said.

MISCELLANY: Tampa-based Olympic gold medalist Tianna Bartoletta (long jump, 4x100-meter relay) will throw out the first pitch Thursday. … The Tampa Bay chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America will present its annual awards Friday, and the Rays will announce their minor-league award winners as well.

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