LOS ANGELES —— The Dodgers announced this morning that David Freese has been placed on the 10-day injured list for a left hamstring strain. The move on Freese was retroactive to June 21st.
Initially, Freese had missed some games with an issue with his left knee, manager Dave Roberts said that may have contributed to the hamstring strain.
“He’s been dealing that tendinitis in his knee and obviously as a byproduct or the hamstring has kind of gone south,” Roberts said, “something we can manage, so back date it and we’re hopeful when his eligibility is up, he’ll be active.”
The corresponding move was recalling catcher Will Smith from Oklahoma City. Smith has been on a home run tear since he was optioned earlier this month. Smith has hit six home runs in 11 games since June 7th. He is hitting .293/.375/.805 in 47 plate appearances this month at OKC.
Roberts talked about Smith’s productivity and how’s he handled himself since he was optioned.
“One, he’s been very productive obviously, he’s earned the opportunity to get back up here,” Roberts said, “two, to have his bat off the bench to free up Russell or anyone else who is not playing, I think is a good thing, I’ll have him catch one of these games here at some point in time. I just think for the most part, he’s earned the opportunity.”
Smith made his major league debut on May 28th and his most memorable moment this season after his first game was when he hit his first home run in his major league career.
Freese has had a very good season so far, he is hitting .308/.407/.592 in 140 plate appearances. He has hit ten doubles and eight home runs. Freese has scored 30 runs and driven in 23.
Freese is having a solid year against left-handed pitching with a .257/.381/.500 season with four home runs. However, his hitting against right-handed pitching has been a real surprise with a .380/.446/.720 batting line in 56 plate appearances.
Will Smith feels locked in
Will Smith said that the Dodgers didn’t really keep in touch in terms of forecasting this call up but he said that did not really matter.
“But I feel they know me,” Smith said, “I’m always ready whenever they want me.”
Talking about his time in OKC since he was optioned, Smith said that he his feeling really good about his swing right now.
“Swing feels like locked in, seeing the ball well and I am sticking to my approach,” Smith said, “and I am executing my plan at the plate is kind of what it comes down to.”
Smith said despite going through his major league debut last month and everything with that, this still not something he can get used to yet.
“It’s still kind of the same, surreal feeling, super honored to be here, very humbled to be here,” Smith said, “this is where every professional baseball player wants to be is the major leagues and I am not taking that for granted.”
Smith added that he and his OKC teammates were keeping track of their former teammates and the success they are having in the majors.
“Garlick the other day, a couple of bombs, Beaty, a walkoff, Verdugo a walkoff,” Smith said, “it’s fun, we are having a good time.”
Asked about Buehler’s complete game start on Friday, Smith said, “16 punchies, it’s fun we are all watching at OKC, celebrating cheering guys on, see them do well, it’s cool.”
Injury updates on Scott Alexander and A.J. Pollock
Earlier this morning, left-handed pitcher Scott Alexander threw a bullpen from the pitching mound. This was done so the team could use their tracking and other monitoring equipment on Alexander’s session.
“For us to get him on the main mound,” Roberts said, “it was because we can capture some things, so the readings and all that stuff will come out in a little bit. So I think from my eyes, the ball was coming out well, just continuing to work on the delivery and repeat throw, so that’s something we are still kind of working through.”
Roberts said another bullpen then getting Alexander in front of hitters would be the next steps. He also said that Alexander would go out on a rehab assignment after those steps.
As far as an update on A.J. Pollock, Roberts would only say he expects him to be playing baseball over the All-Star break but could not get more specific than that. He said the team still expects Pollock to be with them some time after the All-Star break.
Dodgers to go past two million in attendance today
The Dodgers enter today’s game with an attendance total of 1,999,272. That makes for an average 47,601 tickets sold per game. With today’s game, the Dodgers will surpass two million in attendance for an MLB record 47th consecutive season.
The Dodgers have 11 sellouts this season, they had 15 sellouts in 2018.