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Dodgers notes: J.D. Martinez, Will Smith, Kolten Wong

Miami Marlins v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game One Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

LOS ANGELES — Dodgers designated hitter J.D. Martinez took batting practice at Dodger Stadium on Saturday as he works his way back from left groin tightness that has plagued him since late July.

The plan is for Martinez to head to Camelback Ranch in Arizona on Sunday, then join Triple-A Oklahoma City on a rehab assignment in Sugar Land, Texas beginning Tuesday, manager Dave Roberts said Saturday. Martinez’s time in Triple-A could be brief if all goes well, as the team hopes to activate him during next weekend’s series against the Nationals in Washington D.C.

Kolten Wong spent two weeks at Camelback Ranch in Arizona after signing a minor league deal with the Dodgers, before joining Triple-A Oklahoma City, a stint that lasted only a handful of games. He was working on revamping his mechanics after hitting just .165/.241/.227 this year with the Mariners. From Blake Williams at Dodger Blue:

“Right when I signed, I went down to Arizona and started working with the hitting coaches, working in the hitting labs,” Wong said. “Just kind of cleaning some stuff up that I had creep in with Seattle, which led to my demise.”


Will Smith has struggled since the All-Star break offensively (.258/.316/.396), but Roberts on Saturday maintained that Smith’s increased workload this season behind the plate hasn’t been the culprit. Bill Plunkett at the Orange County Register has more.

The Dodgers fared well in net WAR and win probability added with their trade deadline acquisitions, as compiled by Ben Clemens at FanGraphs, though it’s worth noting that a large chunk of that was simply dealing away Noah Syndergaard.

With active roster limits expanding only by two players now, from 26 to 28, prospects getting their feet wet in September isn’t nearly as rampant as it was for decades. A few days back, Steve Henson at the Los Angeles Times picked Fernando Valenzuela in 1980 (17⅔ relief innings, 0.00 ERA, only two unearned runs, two wins, one save) narrowly over Corey Seager in 2015 (.337/.425/.561, four homers, eight doubles, 17 RBI) as the best Dodgers September call-up.

“It was a harbinger of excellence to come,” Henson wrote of Valenzuela’s debut month, seven months before Fernandomania began in earnest.