The former Louisville product battled through a broken rib this year yet his skipper hopes the best is yet to come for him in October.
“I do. I see consistent work. I see a guy who’s finally healthy. I see a person who is not panicking, who doesn’t spike. And so, for me, I just have complete clarity that it’s gonna be a really good postseason for Will. The work has been consistent, the head consistent and he still controls the strike zone,” Roberts said. “He knows how to conduct at-bats situationally, and I just think that the hits will start coming and he’ll get locked in.”via Sportsnet LA
Debates in July pitted the Braves’ Sean Murphy and Smith for consideration as the National League’s starting catcher for the All-Star Game.
Murphy eventually earned the honor to start but the Dodgers’ backstop earned the nod alongside several of his teammates.
Smith was named a reserve on his first All-Star team this season for his performance through mid-July; a moment he waited on for a couple seasons.
It’s unfortunately been a tale of two halves for the old Cardinal who’s regressed from a .276/.396/.495 slash line before the Midsummer Classic down to .238/.314/.379 in 59 games since.
LA’s primary catcher really hasn’t finished strong at all as he’s hit under .200 in September and hasn’t gotten a hit in 10 of 20 games during the month. But, the hope is that a Friday night home run in San Francisco is a sign of him getting back on track.
Smith’s numbers in the power department regressed as well. Though he clubbed at least 24 home runs in each of the past two seasons, he likely won’t reach that mark with just 19 dingers and two regular season games left.
Roberts’ assured confidence in his catcher will certainly help in the short term, but public support simply can’t outweigh lackluster production at the plate.
If LA wants another championship trophy, Smith’s bat will need to wake up quickly with just days remaining before the playoffs start.
Photo Credit: John Leyba-USA TODAY Sports
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