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Dodgers catcher Will Smith on DL with broken hand

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Dodgers minor league catcher Will Smith was hit by a pitch on his right hand in his Double-A Tulsa debut on Monday.
Photo: MiLB.tv

LOS ANGELES — Dodgers catcher Will Smith is expected to miss at least a month with a small fracture in his right hand, suffered while getting hit by a pitch on Monday in his debut for Double-A Tulsa.

In the fifth inning on Monday, Smith was hit by a fastball on his right hand by A’s minor league right-hander Carlos Navas. Smith was checked by the team trainer, but remained the game for two more defensive innings before ultimately coming out of the game.

Smith was placed on the disabled list by Tulsa on Thursday. His hand is expected to be in a cast for roughly four weeks, and could return to game action within a week or two after that.

"Will was having a strong season, even better than his numbers suggest. He was spitting on borderline pitches and attacking strikes. He was driving the ball line to line. He's grown tremendously behind the plate and in his interactions with pitchers.” said Dodgers director of player development Gabe Kapler. “We're all proud of him and look forward to having him back in late August assuming all goes well with his rehab."

Smith, drafted by the Dodgers out of Louisville in the supplemental first round in 2016, hit .232/.355/.448 with 11 home runs and 15 doubles in 72 games with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga this season before getting promoted a week ago.

He started at catcher on Monday for the Drillers at home against Midland. After striking out in his first Double-A at-bat, he was hit by a different pitch in the fourth inning, though that was just a curveball off his shoulder. Smith also stole a base on Monday, his seventh of the season.