In the first half of the season, Will Smith was thought of as the one of the undisputed top two catchers in baseball, on par with Sean Murphy of the Atlanta Braves. Ever since the second half commenced, Smith’s offensive production has cratered, leading fans to question what the reason is for Smith’s struggles since the All Star break.
Since the start of the second half, Smith carries a below average .244/.318/.381 slash line with just five home runs hit across 242 plate appearances in 55 games. Smith’s OPS has dropped 89 points to a flat .800 since the All Star break as well.
Smith recently revealed that he had been playing with a broken rib and a strain in his oblique since the end of April, which has been the main identifier in what has decreased his counting stats.
Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times has more on Smith’s lack of major production offensively and how the Dodgers plan to find his form from the first half ahead of the postseason:
“It’s just part of the season, and you gotta deal with it,” [Robert] Van Scoyoc said. “We’re just trying to get him back to his better version.”
In home starts against the San Francisco Giants, rookie right-hander Emmet Sheehan has now thrown 10 2⁄3 no hit innings with 12 strikeouts. Over his last seven and 2⁄3 innings, the 23-year-old has allowed just one earned run. Sheehan has certainly made the case for him to be included as a part of the Dodgers rotation in the postseason.
Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic writes about Sheehan’s odds of being a part of the rotation in the postseason, analyzing his four pitch arsenal that can make him a reliable and lethal arm in October.
Fernando Valenzuela was named as the no. 10 greatest Dodger of all time by Huston Mitchell of the Los Angeles Times in the latest edition of Dodgers Dugout.
Joel Reuter of Bleacher Report lists the best pitcher for every team this season, naming Clayton Kershaw as the best Dodgers pitcher for 2023.
Jim Alexander of the Orange County Register addresses some questions looming over the Dodgers as they prepare for the postseason, mainly the instability of a depleted starting rotation.