As the long baseball season goes on, every player ends up going through some tough stretches at the plate. It’s a normal part of the game, and right now, Dodgers catcher Will Smith is going through it himself.
After a strong first half of the season, Smith has seen his number decline over the last few weeks. He has struggled to hit the ball consistently, but it hasn’t really affected LA on the field. They have still dominated in games without their All-Star catcher, but that is more about how good they are as a unit.
Manager Dave Roberts said that he spoke to Smith and that he isn’t overly concerned with the issues at the plate.
“I’ve talked to him at length many times over. It’s not wear and tear. It’s not fatigue,” Roberts said.Per The OC Register
Even with Roberts not worrying about his player, there is some level of a cause of concern. This same issue happened last season for Smith, so it’s become a pattern at this point.
He had a great first half of the year, only to really struggle down the stretch of the season. Something is up with how he goes about things throughout the grueling year, and it needs to be fixed quickly.
Roberts believes that pointing to fatigue is an easy way out of figuring out what they need to do with their catcher.
“I think that (fatigue) is something that’s an easy discussion point. There’s catchers across the league who catch as much as he does. He’s in his prime. He takes good care of himself. So I just don’t think wear and tear and fatigue is the reason he’s not on the fastball lately.”Per The OC Register
On the season, Smith is hitting .270 with 17 home runs and 66 runs batted in. He is still collecting hits during the struggles, but it isn’t at the same rate as earlier in the year.
“I don’t default always to mechanics. But I do think in Will’s case there’s some things with his setup that I think has caused him to be late on the fastball,” Roberts said.Per The OC Register
He bats third in the order right now, but if the issues continue, Roberts may need to move him down a little bit.
No matter what the problem is for Smith, he needs to deal with it sooner rather than later. He is an integral part of this Dodgers offense, and they are going to need him to come through in the postseason.
Hopefully, these issues resolve themselves over the next few weeks, and Smith can get back to his All-Star-hitting ways.
Photo Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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