Dodgers Team News

Will Smith Admits He Feels ‘Off’ Amid Struggles for Dodgers

A familiar face was out of the Los Angeles Dodgers‘ lineup Wednesday: Will Smith. The Dodgers’ star catcher, who signed a 10-year contract extension earlier this year, was out of the Dodgers’ game against the Chicago White Sox, not long after sitting out last Friday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels.

Smith has hit a slump in his hitting this season, and Austin Barnes has filled in for him in both of those games.

“Yeah, I feel a little off. I think any time you’re not getting hits you do,” Smith admitted, via Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. “But I still feel like I’m hitting the ball, maybe swing-and-miss a little more but that happens. I’m still squaring the ball up for the most part but nothing’s falling. Not getting any of the dink hits that keep you above water. It’s just one of those times. That’s baseball. We’re always working on our swings, trying to get better. Just grinding along.”

Smith has no hits in his last three games, and just two total hits over his last 10. His numbers this month have drastically dipped: he’s slashing .172/.276/.328 with two home runs and 10 RBIs. This is a stark contrast to the beginning of the year; as recently as June 5, Smith’s batting average for the season was still above .300. His latest slump has sunk his batting average to .264.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts offered his take, saying it’s a mechanical problem rather than a physical or mental issue.

“I just don’t think he’s swinging the bat, certainly like he’s capable of. I think he’s in a little funk,” Roberts said, via Plunkett. “There’s some balls that are hit hard. But there’s also some pitches that I feel that when he’s right, he makes a better move. He feels good. So it’s not a physical thing. Certainly with Will, it’s not a mental thing. He’s as mentally tough as they come. So that leads to the mechanical part. So my thought was you could take today and work through some things mechanically. We have a night game, so there’s more time to do that. We have an off day. … It’s a long season. I don’t expect him to be great or perfect all year.”

The Dodgers don’t want to see their star catcher in a slump, but it appears Roberts isn’t that concerned and believes the issue will get fixed. In his place, Barnes had one hit and one run on Wednesday. The Dodgers next take on the San Francisco Giants.

Photo Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

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Eva Geitheim

Eva graduated from UCLA in 2023 with a bachelor's degree in Communication. She has been covering college and professional sports since 2022.

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