“Each passing day gets a little bit better. I still don’t see him playing in this series,” Roberts said, per SportsNet LA. “With the off day coming on Monday, the hope is that we’ll get him potentially in that next series.”
Dave Roberts gives an update on injured players and Mookie Bett’s timetable for return. pic.twitter.com/2qNEdlYL9u— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) April 20, 2023
Thursday, which was the earliest day Smith could have been activated off the injured list, is the catcher’s seventh straight game missed while sidelined with a concussion, suffered during the series against the Giants, when he took three foul balls off his mask on April 11 in San Francisco.
Missing the remainder of the Cubs series would make 10 games in a row missed for Smith. Factor in the two days off, including Monday when the Dodgers travel to Pittsburgh, there will be at least 12 days in between games played for Smith.
The Dodgers open a three-game series against the Pirates in Pittsburgh on Tuesday.
Smith explained the process on Monday, when he participated in a full workout at Dodger Stadium and also hit in the cage.
“My number one priority is getting back to 100 percent. I don’t want to rush this. There’s plenty of things you can play through and deal with, but head stuff, concussion stuff is not something anyone should mess with,” Smith said then. “It’s going to be a progression. We’ll see how I recover after today. ... It’s day by day.”
Austin Barnes is in the lineup for the series opener in Chicago, though weather might delay the scheduled 4:40 p.m. PT start. This will be the fifth start since Smith’s last game, with Austin Wynns — who was signed on Sunday as a temporary backup — catching the other two. They have a combined two hits in 17 at-bats — a single for Barnes, and a two-run double for Wynns — and two walks in the first six games without Smith.