The Dodgers will have been without one of their catchers for about ten days now. Will Smith was placed on the injured list with neck stiffness following a collision at home plate in San Diego. The team called up Keibert Ruiz as a result, mostly to backup Austin Barnes with Smith out.
And now we know that Will Smith will be activated for today’s game. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts let media know this weekend that he would be making his return to the lineup Sunday afternoon against the Rockies and Antonio Senzatela.
Will Smith will be activated to start tomorrow, Dave Roberts said.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) August 22, 2020
Now it’s official.
The Dodgers have activated catcher Will Smith from the 10-day injured list and have optioned catcher Keibert Ruiz.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) August 23, 2020
Smith’s offensive numbers so far are not truly representative of how well he has hit the ball. If you just looked at his slash line of .188/.341/.406 you might wonder why he’s playing at all. But Smith has been burned on balls in play, with a BABIP of just .154, the worst among Dodgers hitters.
Interestingly enough, Smith is stinging the ball often. His expected slug percentage is third on the team while his expected wOBA is second to only Corey Seager. So while his hits haven’t fallen in quite yet, the Dodgers’ backstop might be close to a breakthrough.
As a result of Smith’s activation, Keibert Ruiz has been optioned back to the alternate location at USC. Ruiz appeared in two games for the Dodgers and collected two hits in eight at-bats.
Up Next for the Dodgers
Following today’s finale against Colorado, the Dodgers will hit the road for a series against the Giants and Rangers. They play three in San Francisco starting Tuesday, then will play three in Texas starting Friday.