Will Smith is Probably Getting Sent Down on Friday and There is Nothing We Can Do About it.

Dodger’s top catching prospect Will Smith made his major league debut last Tuesday and went 2 for 4 with a single, double and he also threw out a runner trying to steal. He also hit a walk-off home run on Saturday night to lift the Dodgers to a very exciting win over the Phillies. Since his debut a week ago he has gone 4 for 14 (.286) with a home run and played solid defense. The kid is multi-talented. He’s a good hitter, has a solid glove and has a strong and accurate throwing arm. He’s the real deal for sure. Unfortunately he’s going to be heading back to Oklahoma City on Friday when Austin Barnes returns from the injured list. There’s nothing much we can do about it.

Whether we like it or not the Dodgers are going to be activating Barnes and there is no reason to have three catchers on the roster, at least not right now. With Barnes due back and Russell Martin still able to walk without a cane means the rookie doesn’t have a place on the roster, right now.

Surely Smith is ready for the majors. He’s the Dodger’s catcher of the future and there is no reason for him not to be the starting catcher starting in 2020. This year however it’s not his time. No matter how good he is and no matter how much we complain. The Dodgers are not simply going to cut Barnes or get rid of Martin. No, not right now.

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If they were to do that there would be a problem. I would prefer them trade Barnes for a reliever or one maybe two prospects. That way Smith could catch every day and Martin, the veteran could mentor the young lad. It would make sense. Unfortunately injuries happen. Martin is really old and without Barnes, Martin getting hurt (which will happen again this season) means Rocky Gale becomes the second catcher and I would love to avoid any scenario that has Gale getting plate appearances.

That’s because Gale is excruciatingly bad at hitting. Barnes and Martin are not great either but they’ve been serviceable. All three of them are decent gloves and call a good game. Barnes is a great framer but again none of them are good hitters.

So with one good injury away from Rocky Gale catching 40% of the games, and the other catching prospect Keibert Ruiz still at Tulsa means the Dodgers are going to have to send Smith down again. That isn’t a knock on Smith at all. It’s just the realities of the situation. Good catchers are hard to find but it’s even more difficult to find serviceable backups. Don’t worry though, because Smith’s time is coming. He’s just going to have to wait a little longer for that to happen.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda's Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic Cheap MLB Tickets

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34 thoughts on “Will Smith is Probably Getting Sent Down on Friday and There is Nothing We Can Do About it.

  1. I guess Buehler got the Memo…. “Cinch up your Jock, and go deep into the game. Avoid middle relief at all costs!” A spectacular 8 strong innings. 11 K’s, only 3 hits, no walks.

    Jansen did hiccup once, but got the save.

    Seager is steaming hot right now. Huge, clutch 3 run dinger.

    Yeah, seems Will Smith will be going back down.He continues to make a strong case to remain, “but you know how this team rolls”.

    Pederson got a shot to start against a lefty, and squandered his chances… too bad. Sad to base his success against leftys on one start, “but you know how this team rolls”.

    Go Blue!

    1. Bluefan, I concur and it’s worth repeating what Scott says here, ‘there’s nothing we can do about it’. As far as Joc goes, yes , just 1 game against a LHP is too small a sample size but once agasin, even if Joc were to hit 5 HR’s in one game for a MLB record, he WILL BE SITTING the next day if a LHP is going, and there’s nothing we can do about it.

  2. Ray is one of the tougher lefty’s in the league. I think Joc will get another shot as long as he stays hot and with the next 2 pitchers both RH he has a great chance to do that. Top of the lineup did bupkis. Neither Taylor or Kike did anything. I loved Buehler telling the D-Backs hitter to go sit down after he struck him out. Smith has been impressive and his time is coming, just not right now. But with him and Ruiz in the wings, the future looks good.

  3. Completely agree. Smith’s time will come. And cutting or trading Barnes might not sit well with the vets at this juncture. It will work out, like it almost always does with the Dodgers.

  4. Catcher position is prone to injury, I wont be surprised in the least if Martin or Barnes lands on the IL again this season, thus enter Smith.

    Buehler gets his groove on. I get the feeling that all the starters are taking it as a personal challenge to match the other starters. We are now seeing strong performances, start after start.

    GasKanley has also awoken from his PPP slumber. It is really amazing how he gets away with a 92-94 cutter, right down the heart of the plate, batter after batter. Can that hold up with success during the playoffs, my guess would be a resounding NO.

  5. Next week they are having a Joe Kelly Bobblehead Night. How many of those stupid little figurines will be turned down by the fans?

    1. Heard they added a wet mop and changed his hat to a Janitor’s cap…. and a wad of money hanging out of his back pocket.

  6. Since May 17 2018
    Dodgers pitching ranks:
    117 Wins – 1st
    64 Losses – 2nd
    1626 IP – 2nd
    9.27 K/9 – 5th
    2.32 BB/9 – 1st
    3.30 ERA – 1st
    3.61 FIP – T/2nd
    22.9 fWAR – 5th

    Dodgers hitting ranks
    46.2 fWAR – 1st (by a mile. 34.4 is 2nd)
    292 HR – 2nd
    952 Runs – 2nd
    10.5 BB% – 1st (only team in double digits)
    21.8 K% – 11th
    .343 wOBA – 1st
    118 wRC+ – 1st (a team without a DH being first is bonkers)
    16.8 Base running runs – 2nd
    170.8 Offensive Runs – 1st (next closest is the astros at 118.8, then the Yankees at 85.3)
    61.3 Defensive Runs – 4th

  7. Blue: Fans never turn those things down. It is unusual for a guy like Kelly to get one right out of the box. He starts making some solid appearances, all will be forgiven. For him to get one before they even do a Reese or a Gilliam is a little perplexing. Pee Wee is only on the Campy in the wheel chair bobble. Kershaw gets one every year. This year is his no-hitter bobble. Turner was just added, one celebrating his walk off against the Cubs. Jackie has never gotten a bobble. He is on 3 different statue giveaways. Lasorda and Fernando will have their nights again this year too. Maybe the 5th Fernando and Lasorda will be his 3rd. He is on a double one with Alston and one as a player. As for Jansen and his cutter. Well it is all location with him. He hangs that thing and he gets hammered. It is still his bread and butter pitch, but he is also throwing the slider a little more.

  8. In facebook jail again! And all I did was reply to a post and I was totally civil. They are sure a bunch of pansy ass cup cakes over there!

    1. Right Michael,

      I got censored before on the Dodger Website. They thought I was way too negative. Remember they had that “report” button, if the fans thought it was too offensive. I had seen some real nasty stuff on the Dodger Web sight, but they did not get nixed. I guess truthful negativity was too tough for them to handle. I guess they decided to stop the fan comment participation, as it was really getting nasty.

      As far as Kelly Bobble Head, I am almost positive that Kelly’s agent got that thrown in on his contract. These players really take the bobblehead seriously…. and like you said, too many who really deserve one, are still without one. I cannot remember who it was, but years ago, a Dodger had a bobblehead nite scheduled, but he was traded before his bobblehead night. They still gave it away, I think.

      Dodger Ace Hyun Jin Ryu tonight! Actually, all the starters have been pitching like “Aces” lately…. they apparently got the memo.

      1. I remember that, but also cannot recall the player. It costs them too much to cancel those things. They are currently suing one of the company’s for not delivering a Lasorda bobble in a timely manner so it could be given away. Yeah, it got pretty nasty over there on the Dodger site. Way nastier than I ever saw here. Was a shame because some of those guys were really knowledgeable fans. I was shut down once. Some Giant fan trolling got a little too personal and I called him out. They did not want you threatening someone, but the A-hole deserved it. The next 3 scheduled bobbles are Kelly, Kersh and a Ryu bobble where he is supposed to be Han Solo. Then Turner, Valenzuela’s legends of Dodger baseball night. Kenley, Kike, Lasorda, one that is unannounced, Jansen and one that you need to be part of a ticket package to get, not a player, a Dia de los Dodgers…some sort of day of the dead looking thing and believe it or not, one of Billy Jean King….I wonder what position she plays.

        1. Michael,

          I think the player who was traded before his bobblehead night was Juan Uribe.

          Juan Uribe was traded to the Braves on 5/27/2015. His bobblehead giveaway was 7/11/2015.

  9. Urias will not be charged, but he does have to go to classes for a year. Herrera of the Phillies looks to be a different thing altogether. His admin leave was extended by the league. Domestic abuse is a problem across the board, but it is a big problem in pro sports. Seems like each year more guys get caught up in it. Dodgers have drafted 2 infielders and a high school pitcher so far.

    1. As far as Urias, Judge must have been a Dodger fan, who sits in the Lexus Section.

      Does this mean that MLB cannot pursue additional days of suspension? Sounds like Urias accepted a plea, since probation and counseling/management was imposed.

      1. Do not know if MLB will do anything since he is not being charged by the LA DA office. Once you are arrested for domestic abuse, the classes are mandatory. Not sure if that is a legal thing or something MLB dictates. If he is not formally charged, MLB rarely imposes further penalties. Not enough evidence and conflicting eye witness accounts probably the reason.

  10. Phillies lose McCutcheon for the season. Torn UCL. There goes a huge chunk o’ change down the tubes.

    1. Clubs buy a lot of injury insurance policies. The bigger the contract the more likely they hedged their bet with an insurance policy. The bigger penalty to McCutheon going down is his presence in the line-up. Besides McCutheon’s contract was paid out of the petty cash draw in comparison to Brace Hyper’s contract. Yes, you can count on it that Brace’s contract is backed by an injury insurance policy, at least for the first number of years involved.

    1. There is no competition for them right now. They are so good. Probably the best team in baseball. They’re going to cruise into the postseason. The road to the world series in the National league goes through Dodger Stadium.

    2. What a funky game. Very sloppy with 3 Dodger errors, and 2 for the Snakes. But Ryu remained cool as a cucumber, working himself out of jams. 7 more shutout innings, 17 ground ball outs, no walks, only 3 hits allowed, 2 K’s. ERA down to MLB leading 1.35! Could have easily been a complete game shutout, if not for the errors. Yimi lights out, at his best when not having to follow Kelly. Alexander slams the door shut. Prime example of how a Bullpen is supposed to work.

      The offense still on a roll. Able to tally 9 runs on 12 hits, in spite of 6-17 RISP, 7 LOB, and 9 strikeouts. Seager is locked in. Freese, Kiké, Bellinger clutch.

      Go Blue. Go for sweep tomorrow.

  11. Belli has an 11 game hitting streak and Freese is at 10. Only Muncy and Verdugo missed the hit parade. Got to love Ryu, guy has ice water in his veins. Getting close to heading back home. Believe me I will not miss the traffic out here at all.

  12. Poor Maeda. He did not want to come out. He knows that a starter must go as deep as possible in the game, especially on this team.

    DR made the decision to yank Kenta, who was surprised by the decision. Roberts was playing the damn odds, rather than showing confidence in his starter. Roberts is so paranoid about the “third time around”, or overworking his starters, regardless of how well his pitcher is doing. He also was playing the matchup card, and wanted to get Urias in the game to get him some work. Well, his decision backfired, big time. His piss poor bullpen could not hold the fort.

    Will Smith is the real deal. Dodger Brass had said he was not ready? What a joke. It will be sad to see him go back down. What do these kids have to do to earn som respect? Not to take anything away from Barnes and Russell, but the kid deserves an opportunity. Just because Barnes and Russell are veterans, they get to stay? The Dodgers have to find a way to carry 3 catchers…. like maybe dumping one of their rubber arm relievers?

  13. Another gem by a Dodger starting pitcher. Buehler now 7-1. The bullpen does not disappoint. Baez, a bit scary, but seemed like the vintage Jansen today. Which Dodger pitchers are worthy of an All-Star nod?

    As far as the offense, when will Management realize that the “Lefty Lineup” strategy is failing miserably. It has been 2-3 years now? Hello?…. Anybody Home?

    Love the opening statement today. The lefty, yes, I said “The Lefty” Max Muncy sent a message to Madbum, deep into McCovey Cove, and Madbum took offense…. what a loser. The guy has no class.

    News Flash….No RISP today! Well, I guess you cannot have any if you do not get any runners past 1st base. Does “Our” Will Smith have a one-way ticket back to the Big Show yet?

    At least they “Escape from Alcatraz” with a series win.

    Go Dodgers.

    1. Well, Will Smith can remove that add for a roommate on Craig’s List. Verdugo coming to OKC as soon as Pollock returns. That sucks.

      SOP with these Dodgers. The Kids get no respect!

  14. Dodger website announced that as soon as Pollock is back, Verdugo will go down.

    Now it is gone off the site! What the….?

    1. Still comes up in LA Times and DodgerNation

      Roberts said, AJ, not Verdugo, will be the starter and will be playing….

      1. Not starting and going to the minors are wonderfully different outcomes.

        Zero chance Verdugo is going down.

        Not sure why Pollock starting is that controversial.

        1. Thought I saw something about Verdugo going back down. My bad… getting old. Let’s hope he stays, but OF will be overcrowded. We will see.

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