It’s a 2020 oddity for sure, being actually somewhat OK if not excited to see Austin Barnes’ name in the Dodgers’ starting lineup. After receiving some pro tips from new teammate Mookie Betts early in the season, the oft-struggling catcher went on an incredible tear with that bat. At the end of the regular season, Barnes posted the second-best campaign of his career.
Through any batting issues, one thing is certain, Austin’s defense never took a slump. Moreover, the veteran’s presence was felt amongst the pitching staff. Barnes catcher’s ERA was more than half a run lower than Will Smith’s in 2020 (2.61 < 3.29). Now it seems that that might enough to get Barnesy another start in the World Series
On Thursday, Dave Roberts confirmed that the team is considering putting playoff B is back behind the plate to catch Walker Buehler in game 3.
It’s a thought. It’s certainly a thought. I love both of our catchers back there with what Austin does behind the plate specifically … it’s certainly on the table.
It should be noted that Barnes hasn’t been a slouch with the bat this postseason. In 5 games started, he’s collected 6 hits in 14 at-bats (.428). But now his game calling may be the most valuable thing to the Dodgers. Roberts expanded.
It’s an elite skill (Barnes’ pitch-framing). I think he’s one of the top two or three in all of baseball. And that’s something that, it certainly has to be weighted because there’s a certainty of impacting or potentially 125 to 150 pitches in a ballgame. Will is very good as well. But as you can say that Will is a better hitter and thrower than Austin, Austin’s skill set to catch the baseball is elite.
After Buehler’s NLCS game 6 start, he sang the praises of Barnes who guided him through a bases loaded, no out mess early in the game and winded up spinning his best game of the 2020 postseason.
Just some off day filler, but definitely something to keep an eye on for the rest of this series.