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Dodgers News: Austin Barnes Activated from IL, Will Smith Optioned

Barnes returns after a short rehab stint with single-A Rancho

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 17: Austin Barnes #15 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a RBI single against the Milwaukee Brewers during the fifth inning in Game Five of the National League Championship Series at Dodger Stadium on October 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The Dodgers announced that catcher Austin Barnes had been activated from the 10-day IL.

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.

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.

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.

4 Comments

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  1. I mean, I get it you can’t just abandon the beta you left camp with. The FO knows there will be more injuries, and quite frankly he’s hitting above his talent since he was brought up. I won’t be surprised if he gets traded in the next 30 days.

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