Sunday is a costly day for the Dodgers, with the latest blow that catcher Will Smith left the series finale against the Reds with a left elbow contusion.
In the first inning, Smith was hit by a pitch on the elbow by a 96-mph fastball from Cincinnati starter Graham Aschraft. He remained in the game and caught the next two innings, but was replaced behind the plate by Austin Barnes in the fourth inning.
Will Smith, who was hit on the elbow by a pitch in the first inning and exited the game, said he had an X-ray and it came up negative. He hopes to play Tuesday.— Dodger Insider (@DodgerInsider) July 30, 2023
Sunday marked the first time this season that Smith started in both games of a night/day combination. Usually that’s when Barnes gets his starts, but even with his fourth-inning single on Sunday the Dodgers backup catcher is hitting just .118/.203/.136. The team opted instead to start Smith on Sunday after he caught on Saturday, a decision likely influenced by the off days surrounding this weekend series, lessening the burden on Smith even with catching all three games.
But it turned out that he only caught three innings.
Smith is arguably the most indispensable player the Dodgers have because of the drop off between him and Barnes. Smith, who made his first All-Star Game this season, is hitting .279/.388/.474 with a 137 wRC+ and 13 home runs.
Earlier in Sunday’s game, designated hitter J.D. Martinez left with left hamstring tightness, the second left hamstring issue in the last week for Martinez.