Austin Barnes will get his chance.
According to the OC Register, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts declared Barnes the backup catcher, saying “it’s his time” and praising his athleticism and pitch framing abilities.
The announcement doesn’t come with much fanfare. Barnes was stuck behind Yasmani Grandal and A.J. Ellis for most of the year, then L.A. traded Ellis for Carlos Ruiz. Ruiz was sent to the Mariners early in the offseason, leaving the backup spot clear for Barnes.
Roberts didn’t rule out Barnes playing the infield as well, specifically mentioning second and third base. Barnes has played all the aforementioned spots and the outfield in the minors.
[graphiq id=”iEEY7FrM0Cx” title=”Austin Barnes” width=”500″ height=”748″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/iEEY7FrM0Cx” link_text=”Graphiq” ]
Barnes appeared in just 21 games for the Dodgers in 2016, but performed well in Triple-A with a .295/.380/.443 line in 85 games. Barnes was acquired from Miami in the Dee Gordon trade.
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