One theme of the 2015 season for the Los Angeles Dodgers so far has been success, despite the amount of injuries they have had to deal with. That means that young players, and some veterans, have had to step up and take on larger roles than was previously expected.
The most recent injury came on Friday when catcher Yasmani Grandal was put on the seven-day concussion disabled list. To replace him, the team called up catcher Austin Barnes from Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Barnes was acquired from the Miami Marlins in the trade that sent away Dee Gordon. The 25-year-old has recently received high praise from Dodgers director of player development Gabe Kapler via Twitter:
Austin Barnes is about to make his ML debut for the @Dodgers. You don't know him yet. You will…and you'll like it.
— gabe kapler (@gabekapler) May 24, 2015
Baseball analyst Peter Gammons also took to the social media site to add a comment on the young catcher:
I had one veteran pitcher in spring training tell me, "he may end up the best catcher on this team. https://t.co/SsdbMAFOLf
— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) May 24, 2015
Barnes, who was drafted in the ninth round of the 2011 draft by the Marlins out of Arizona State, was batting .290 with three homers and 13 RBIs in Triple-A before being called up.
In his first career Major League game on Sunday, Barnes went one-for three in a loss to the San Diego Padres.
With the organization investing so much in Grandal, trading away Matt Kemp for him, it is unclear how the organization plans to utilize Barnes. He is very versatile though, as he has also played some third and second base in his career.
Austin Barnes On MLB Debut