The Dodgers announced that catcher Austin Barnes had been activated from the 10-day IL.
The Dodgers today activated catcher Austin Barnes from the 10-day injured list and optioned catcher Will Smith to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) June 6, 2019
In a corresponding roster move, Will Smith was optioned to triple-A Oklahoma City.
Austin Barnes sustained a strained left-groin injury on May 26 in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates and was placed on the 10-day IL the day after. To fill his place, the Dodgers called up Will Smith, one of their highly-touted catching prospects.
Barnes’ Rehab Assignment
Before his activation off of the IL, Barnes played in two games with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes and was productive with the minor league team.
He went 2-for-5 and was walked in another at-bat. On Tuesday, he played 5 innings on defense and played 7 on Wednesday.
Smith Impressed Many During His Time With the Team
During his first stint in the MLB, Smith shined both offensively and defensively. In back-to-back games last week, he impressively picked off a runner trying to steal second base.
On the offensive end, he was a hero on Saturday night when he hit his first career home run, a walk-off against the Philadelphia Phillies. Smith concluded his first call-up with another home run and ultimately batted .286 in 21 at-bats.
Fan Reaction to the Move by the Team
Many Dodgers fans were disappointed by the team’s decision not to keep Smith on the roster.
Not only was Smith’s call-up fun because of his namesake, but his play on the field was a nice change from what has been somewhat of an underwhelming start to the season by the catching duo of Barnes and Russell Martin. Currently, Barnes is batting .231 with only 4 home runs while Martin is batting .278 with 2 home runs.
In 117 ABs Austin Barnes has hit 4 home runs.
In 72 ABs Russell Martin has hit 2 home runs.
In 21 ABs Will Smith has already hit 2 home runs.#justsayin
— Ron Cervenka (@Think_BlueLA) June 6, 2019
While this certainly is not the last we’ve seen of Will Smith, it is somewhat disappointing to see him optioned to OKC. Here’s to hoping the fresh prince is back in LA sometime soon.