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Dodgers: Despite Austin Barnes’ Struggles, Dave Roberts Remains Confident

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ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 1: Austin Barnes #15 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws his bat in frustration after lining out against the St. Louis Cardinals to end the game at Busch Stadium on June 1, 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Since returning from a short stint on the IL after sustaining a groin injury in late May, Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes has struggled to find any sort of success in the batter’s box.

He’s currently batting .204 with a .648 OPS and has been frustrating Dodgers fans with his lackluster performances on what seems to be a nightly basis.

To make matters worse, catcher Will Smith has been tearing it up in OKC and has left many to question why he has yet to receive the nod over Barnes.

Despite his ongoing struggles, though, Dave Roberts still has confidence that his catcher’s performance will take a turn for the better anytime now. 

Speaking to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register, Roberts highlighted that Barnes work ethic has led to better quality at-bats, even if the numbers don’t necessarily show that. 

“Austin is really working hard,” Roberts said. “The results certainly haven’t been there since he came back from the IL. But I do believe he’s taking better swings. Where I could have said before going on the IL, he was trying way too hard and pressing, I think right now, yeah, he’s frustrated that he’s not getting hits. But I still think the at-bat quality, for me — it’s getting better.”

Additionally, Roberts complimented Barnes’ efforts defensively, stating that he’s been performing at a “high level” on that side of the ball. 

While Dodgers fans would love for Dave Roberts to be right and for Barnes to finally break out of what has seemed to be a never ending slump, it’d be tough to find someone who doesn’t give their doubts.

We can only hope that Roberts will make the right decision for the catcher’s position come October.

Written by Kellan Grant

I’m currently a junior at Pomona College in Claremont, CA, and I have a passion for sports journalism. I grew up in the LA area and am a diehard fan of the Dodgers, Lakers, Rams, UCLA, Kings. My favorite Dodgers memory was watching Kershaw tear up after the team won the 2017 NLCS and advanced to the World Series for the first time in his career. After college, I plan on either pursuing a career as a sports journalist or working in sports law.

3 Comments

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  1. Yes Barnes defense has been good, However Barnes strikes out so much and his batting average will be under 200 soon. This automatic out and a 200 batting average should be on the bench or sent to the minors. Sorry Dave Roberts but you are wrong about this!

  2. we got rid of AJ. Ellis and Yasmani Grandall who had better batting avdrages as catchers than Austin Barns. How much time do you give this guy?

  3. Barnes and Martin Will cost Dodgers in the standings in a close low-scoring game or in the playoffs. Don’t forget about another automatic-out hernandez. I know in a 16-2 laugher, it shouldn’t matter but man c’mon.

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