The Dodgers have finally moved on from Austin Barnes. On Thursday afternoon the club announced that they have optioned the right handed hitting backstop to Oklahoma City and recalled top catching prospect Will Smith. Although we will likely see Barnes again when the rosters expand in September, this is likely the last time Barnes will be on the active roster, at least as a primary backstop.
Austin Barnes has been optioned to Oklahoma City. #Dodgers
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) July 25, 2019
The Dodgers have finally had enough of Barnes’ horrendous hitting. In 2018 Barnes slashed .208/.329/.290 with a 72 OPS+ and just 9 extra-base hits over 238 plate appearances. He followed that up with an even worse campaign in 2019. Thus far across 233 plate appearances this season, Barnes is slashing a putrid .196/.288/.328 with 5 home runs, 23 runs driven in and a 64 OPS+ and a .616 OPS. The only question surrounding Barnes’ horrendous batting was if he could possibly challenge Garret Anderson or Bill Bergen for the most punch-less Dodger seasons of all time.
Barnes thankfully will not get that chance to prove he is one of the worst Dodger hitters in franchise history. Of course it is unfair to pile on Barnes without mentioning that veteran Russell Martin can’t hit either. Martin is batting just .225 and has driven in only 9 runs all season.
Smith, the 24-year old Louisville native has already smashed two walk-off home runs this season for the Dodgers. He’s 7 for 26 (.269) with 3 home runs and has posted a .345 OBP across 29 plate appearances. Smith has appeared nine games this season behind the plate.