Following Austin Barnes Option, Dodgers to Recall Will Smith from AAA

Big Willie Style, Volume 3.

The Dodgers will recall rookie catcher Will Smith from Triple-A OKC. This comes on the heels of the team optioning 5-year catcher Austin Barnes to Triple-A.

It felt like a foregone conclusion, but with it nothing official from the team yet, LA Times staff writer Jorge Castillo reports that Smith will be rejoining the club for the Washington series starting Friday.

This season with the Dodgers, The Fresh Prince of LA has posted a .269 average with 3 home runs and 6 RBI in 9 games. In those 9 games spread across 2 separate stints with the big league club, Smith collected an unprecedented 2 walk-off home runs, including a historic walk-off for rookies.

Barnes, on the other hand, has struggled to the tune of a .200 batting average over his last 170 games between 2018-2019, so the writing had been on the wall for some time. The time away from the big leagues may provide an opportunity to reset for the 29 year-old catcher.

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.


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  1. I feel sorry for Austin, but you can’t expect to play MLB baseball with a 200 Average. I am excited for Smith and hope that with his skills he can contribute big time with the big club.

  2. Austin has been a mainstay contributor for quite some time now and does need a reset. You just can’t hit below 200 and expect to play everyday at the big league level. When it’s time to produce you have to play those who will have a better impact on the team to reach the ultimate goal.

  3. You know you are old when………….the picture of the new Dodger catcher looks like a 14 year old little league player to you……………

    • Hello bluz1st. A big point about this is that Dodgers just cannot afford to ‘carry’ Barnes or anyone else for that matter offensively, meaning he just lengthened the automatic outs at bottom of the lineup. But if ya are around here, what do ya think of the idea that eventually Smith, because he has sock, should hit higher than 8th in the lineup.? I mean it might be difficult for him to get many pitches to hit batting in front of the pitcher. I see opponents simply pitching around him to get to the pitcher’s spot. But then again, if that is the case on occasion, it does get the pitcher out of the way so to speak should he be the last out of an inning.

      • Paul:

        I think the approach ought to be to bring him up (again) and let him play his role just like a number of others. That may ultimately mean more AB’s and time behind the dish, but I suspect the place where he hits in the order will depend on how he does in various “spots”. I agree batting second cleanup will probably not getting too many pitches in the zone, but if he can produce above where Barnes was this year or maybe more than Martin on offense that could easily move him up to a higher spot in the order. One thing about being around Martin is he will get some great insights about the hitters in the league and perfecting his handling of pitchers. Glad to seem him up with the big club as we enter the “dog days”.

      • Hi Paul!……..I don’t have a problem with him hitting in the bottom of the order………I actually like it…….we need someone down there that teams cannot just get easy outs from………with Barnes, Martin and the pitchers spot all grouped together teams were feasting on our inability to send someone to the plate who was a threat……..too many feeble at bats down there…….now, esp. in the later innings, when the Dodgers are trying to mount a rally within the bottom half of the batting order, all “Dave” has to do is pinch hit for the relief pitcher to create a formidable gauntlet for the opponent to deal with and bridge getting back to the top of the order. In other words he (Will) makes the lineup longer.

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