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Will Smith placed on injured list with a concussion, Dodgers sign Austin Wynns

IL move is retroactive to Thursday

San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers
Here are the two active Dodgers catchers in the same photo.
Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Dodgers on Sunday placed Will Smith on the seven-day concussion injured list before their series finale against the Cubs, after the catcher missed each of the first two games of the weekend set. They also signed Austin Wynns to fill in with Smith out.

As of Saturday night, the injury to Smith was not yet disclosed, having previously been described vaguely as an illness. Manager Dave Roberts said after Saturday’s game that Smith would be unavailable to play on Sunday as well.

“We’re going to try to run some more tests and try to figure this thing out. Obviously, we’re probably going to make a move,” Roberts said. “I don’t know what that’s gonna be. But just doesn’t look good. We’ll evaluate tomorrow and see where he’s at.”

Smith’s injured list stint is retroactive to Thursday, so the earliest he could return is this coming Thursday, when the Dodgers begin a series at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

Smith was off to a hot start this season, hitting .333/.417/.641 with three home runs, three doubles, and 12 RBI in 11 games. He started 10 of the first 13 games behind the plate before the weekend series against the Cubs.

With Smith out, Austin Barnes starts at catcher on Sunday, as he has in every game of this series. It’s the first time Barnes has caught three straight games since August 20-22, 2020, when Smith was on the IL with neck inflammation.

Wynns started last Sunday for the Giants, striking out in his only two plate appearances of the season. He was designated for assignment on Monday and, after clearing waivers Friday, elected free agency rather than accept an outright assignment to the minors, as Wynns has been sent outright to the minors (thrice) before in his career.

Wynns hit .259/.313/.358 with a 92 wRC+ while catching 57 games for the Giants last year, starting 43 times behind the plate. The 32-year-old has played parts of five major league seasons with the Orioles and Giants, hitting .230/.274/.335 with 12 home runs in 510 plate appearances and 136 starts at catcher.

This is definitely a temporary signing, depending on how long Smith is out, as Wynns is out of options. Wynns will wear number 29 with the Dodgers.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Wynns, the Dodgers transferred pitcher Alex Reyes to the 60-day injured list, as the pitcher rehabs from last year’s shoulder surgery.