Dodgers Team News

Dodgers Hitters Need to Step Up in the Absence of ‘Consistent’ Will Smith

The Dodgers offense has been boom or bust this season. In six of the team’s games, the Dodgers offense has exploded for eight or more runs, including three double-digit outputs. On the flip side, though, in six other games, the team has scored two or fewer runs, including a shutout against the Giants and an almost shutout against the Cubs — saved by David Peralta’s walk-off two-run single.

Through 16 games, the Dodgers offense is hitting just .231 with runners in scoring position, tied with the Padres for 25th-worst in the MLB. The Dodgers have also struck out 155 times, good for second-worst in the entire MLB, only trailing the Giants with 156.

That’s just the bad, though.

The good will tell you that the Dodgers haves scored 85 runs this season, good for fifth-best in the entire MLB. The team also has a .794 OPS, which is fifth-best in the MLB, too.

The inconsistency is the reason the Dodgers find themselves at .500 this season. And even worse, they’re going to be without their star catcher Will Smith for at least one more series.

Without him against the Cubs, they scored just six runs in three games.

In Smith’s absence, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has implored the rest of his guys to step up and, essentially, be more like Smith in the batter’s box.

“It is certainly about other guys picking up the slack, because one thing about Will that I can appreciate is his consistency, on the defensive side but (also) in the batter’s box,” Roberts said. “If you look at a lot of our guys – again, this is 15 games – it’s been very inconsistent, and Will is a consistent performer. So yeah, we need all of our guys to show some consistency, that’d be great.”

Bill Plunkett, Orange County Register

Through 11 games, Smith is slashing .333/.417/.641 with three home runs, 12 RBIs, three doubles, seven walks and just four strikeouts.

His numbers technically don’t qualify in “just” 48 plate appearances, but his triple slash line leads the Dodgers, and his 12 RBIs rank second, despite his fewer at-bats than most. His four strikeouts are fewer than anyone on the team, too, including guys which much fewer at-bats.

Fortunately, he should be back by the end of the week. But with him out of the lineup and not in his usual three-hole, the Dodgers really need some better at-bats from the rest of their lineup, especially the guys at the top like Mookie Betts, Max Muncy and J.D. Martinez.

Muncy and Martinez have both struck out 23 times this season, tied for sixth-worst in the MLB. Betts, with 17, isn’t too far behind them, either. It’ll be on those guys to carry the load during this three-game series against the Mets.

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Noah Camras

Noah is an Editor for Dodgers Nation. He graduated from USC in 2022 with a B.A. in Journalism and minor in Sports Media Studies. He's been a Dodger fan his whole life, and his all-time favorite Dodgers are Matt Kemp and Russell Martin.

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