Diamondbacks' Souza, Jr staying focused through an injury-riddled first year with team

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Souza has a clean bill of health and is trying to find his footing in the middle of a pennant race. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Souza has a clean bill of health and is trying to find his footing in the middle of a pennant race. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
He can rectify his season by finishing with a fury and help the Diamondbacks get to the postseason. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) He can rectify his season by finishing with a fury and help the Diamondbacks get to the postseason. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
"I'm going to come to the park every single day put my best foot out there, prepare like no one's business, and play as hard as I can,” said Souza Jr. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) "I'm going to come to the park every single day put my best foot out there, prepare like no one's business, and play as hard as I can,” said Souza Jr. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

When players get traded to a new team, they want to make an impact. It’s human nature to want to excel in a new environment.

Taking cut after cut and bonding with his teammates. Arizona Diamondbacks’ outfielder Steven Souza, Jr. is making the most of lost time.

"There is such a flow to a baseball season that over a course of life and my career I've gotten used to and it’s just been disrupted," said Souza Jr.

Big expectations for Souza coming to Arizona after hitting a career-high 30 homers with Tampa in 2017. Slotted to be a power bat in the lineup, he's spent more time in the training room than the field.

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"It’s a tough situation. You have such high expectations to make an impact immediately when you get traded. He played with an incredible energy, had a nice spring for us. Then gets hurt, not what you expect,” said Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo.

Right out of the gates in spring training, he suffered a right pectoral muscle injury and missed five weeks.

He returned, played 14 games and went back on the disabled list after reaggravating the injury May 21 against the Mets.

"It's been strange. It’s the only way I can describe it. I probably rushed too quick on the first time through. I wasn't ready from a swing standpoint, I think. The training staff did a really good job of making me focus on the day-to-day," said Souza.

The approach worked. Souza has a clean bill of health and is trying to find his footing in the middle of a pennant race.

"It's just a challenge for me to go out there and figure out a way to get back in the groove and slowly work my way back," said Souza Jr.

"The frustration is winding down. And he has to be a little patient through these tough moments," said Lovullo.

Souza is not looking back, he's looking straight ahead. He can rectify his season by finishing with a fury and help the Diamondbacks get to the postseason.

"I know what I'm capable of. I'm going to show it this year. I know that for sure. Whether it’s a streak in August, next week or where ever it is, I'm coming to the yard every day and its going show. I'm confident of that,” said Souza Jr. 

"I said, 'Look, you're going to have three to four months of at-bats and you could put up numbers and say you had a successful season,'" said Lovullo.

Known to be a passionate player who cares about his team and results, in the final three months his results might be questioned but Souza guarantees his preparation won't be questioned

"I'm going to come to the park every single day put my best foot out there, prepare like no one's business, and play as hard as I can,” said Souza Jr. 

Finding itself clinging to a one-game lead in the National League West, the Diamondbacks are counting on Souza to come through for the stretch run.

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