Tampa Bay outfielder Steven Souza is headed to the disabled list with a lacerated finger suffered Sunday when he was hit by a pitch and to replace him on the roster the Rays have activated designated hitter John Jaso from the 60-day disabled list.
Jaso has been out since Opening Day with a bruised left wrist and hit poorly on a minor-league rehab assignment, batting .250 with a .621 OPS in eight games. However, the Rays have deemed him healthy and their lineup could certainly use the help. Jaso is a career .272 hitter with a .793 OPS versus right-handed pitching.
Souza has shown impressive power as a 26-year-old rookie, smacking 15 homers in 79 games, but he’s also hit just .210 with 108 strikeouts and a .718 OPS for mediocre overall production. He was acquired from the Nationals this offseason as part of the huge three-team blockbuster also involving the Padres.
John Jaso has been on the disabled list since injuring his wrist on Opening Day, but the Rays designated hitter is optimistic about rejoining the lineup by the All-Star break.
Jaso hasn’t started a minor-league rehab assignment yet, but Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune reports that he’s been cleared to swing off a tee and may not require a lengthy rehab stint.
Concussions forced Jaso to stop catching, but he’s good enough offensively to help in the DH role. Jaso is a career .272 hitter with a .793 OPS versus right-handed pitching.
The Oakland Athletics are a very different team now than they were a year ago. In the offseason they lost Jeff Samardzija, Jon Lester, Jason Hammel, Derek Norris, Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss and John Jaso and brought in Ike Davis, Ben Zobrist, Jesse Hahn, Billy Butler, Brett Lawrie and Marcus Semien.
Also, a year ago at this time they had Yoenis Cespedes. He’s gone now, playing for the Tigers. The A’s and Tigers are meeting up this week, so A’s reporters asked him about all of the changes to his old club:
He’s on to them.
John Jaso injured his wrist sliding on Opening Day and the Rays initially deemed it a minor injury, but he hasn’t played since then and has now been transferred to the 60-day disabled list.
That means Jaso is ineligible to return from the disabled list until early June, which is shame given that injuries and specifically concussions have sidelined him a lot in the past and forced him to stop playing catcher regularly.
If healthy Jaso has a good enough bat to be an asset at designated hitter, particularly against right-handed pitching. He topped a .750 OPS in each of the past three seasons and has a career .359 on-base percentage with nearly as many walks as strikeouts.
The Rays already lost first baseman James Loney earlier this week due to a mild right oblique strain, but now John Jaso will join him on the 15-day disabled list due to a jammed left wrist.
Jaso suffered the injury on a head-first slide into second base on Opening Day on Monday. X-rays and an MRI revealed no structural damage, but the Rays couldn’t afford to short-handed on their bench much longer, so he’ll now get some extended rest.
Taking Jaso’s place on the roster will be 2011 first-round pick Mikie Mahtook. The 25-year-old batted .292/.362/.458 with 12 home runs, 68 RBI, and 18 stolen bases over 132 games last season with Triple-A Durham. The Rays are set to play this Marlins this weekend under National League rules, so Mahtook will provide some bench depth in his first taste of the majors.