Orioles pitcher Kevin Gausman tweeted on Thursday that he will change his uniform number from 39 to 34 in honor of late Blue Jays and Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay. The right-hander said,
Being a kid in love with the game of baseball, many of my afternoons and fondest childhood memories are of watching the game with my dad. Naturally I became a huge fan of fellow Colorado native Roy Halladay. He instantly became my idol. For years I watched him dominate his competition. To me, Roy gave me the inspiration that I could fulfill even my biggest of dreams — being a pitcher just like him. The older I got the more I began to understand the challenges of being a baseball player in Colorado. There have been less than 100 Major League Baseball players that were born there. I’d like to think we have our own fraternity amongst ourselves.
The loss of Roy was tragic and is saddening, but I feel honored to have watched everything he achieved. I plan to wear #34 next season to honor Roy Halladay both on and off the field.
Halladay died at the age of 40 last month in a plane crash in the Gulf of Mexico.
Gausman, 26, has had a solid career across five seasons with the Orioles. He owns a 4.18 ERA with 593 strikeouts and 198 walks in 639 2/3 innings in his career. He’s under team control for two more seasons after the upcoming one, becoming eligible for free agency after the 2020 season.
Arizona Diamondbacks right fielder Steven Souza dove for a ball in a spring training game last night, missed, and ended up injuring his right shoulder.
It looked bad, too. Center fielder Jarrod Dyson stood over him, frantically waving to the dugout for a trainer as Souza kicked his legs in apparent pain. Souza held his arms awkwardly as he walked off the field. At the moment the Dbacks are calling it a right shoulder strain, but he’ll get an MRI on it today after which a more specific diagnosis will come.
If Souza is out for a while it’s a pretty big blow to Arizona’s 2018 plan. Souza was acquired to help cushion the blow of losing J.D. Martinez in free agency. While not the hitter Martinez is, Souza hit 30 homers in Tampa Bay last year, stood likely to at least match that in the more hitter-friendly confines of Chase Field and, of course, plays superior defense.
Potential replacements for Souza include moving David Peralta from left to right and inserting Yasmany Tomas in left or having fourth outfielder Dyson, or perhaps a platoon of Dyson and utilityman Chris Owings, handle right. Socrates Brito is another internal option.
Obviously the Snakes will wait to hear the results of the MRI before going too deeply into replacement plans, all the while hoping that Souza’s injury is far less serious than it appeared to be last night.