Dodgers Injury News: Austin Barnes Dealing With Right Elbow Discomfort

Dodgers Injury News: Austin Barnes Dealing With Right Elbow Discomfort

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes thrived in his first full season as a Major League player, exceeding all expectations and displaying value on both sides of the ball.

Offensively, Barnes slashed .289/.408/.486 with 25 extra-base hits across 262 plate appearances. Defensively, he rated as one of the league’s best pitch framers and additionally saw some time in the infield — giving the Dodgers further positional flexibility.

Barnes eventually supplanted Yasmani Grandal as the Dodgers’ primary catcher by the end of the season and started in all but two of the club’s 15 postseason games.

The 28-year-old will look to replicate that success in 2018, but may have to wait a little longer to see the field. According to Ken Gurnick of, Barnes is dealing with elbow issues, and as a result, will only see time as a designated hitter during the first week of Cactus League play:

Manager Dave Roberts revealed that Barnes had been battling with elbow discomfort prior to the start of Spring Training. Though, Roberts added that Barnes would be healthy enough to suit up behind the plate if the regular season started:

According to Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times, Barnes caught Kenta Maeda’s bullpen on Thursday and was able to make throws back to him without any issue, which has to be considered a positive sign:

Barnes is expected to platoon with Yasmani Grandal this season, where he’ll presumably receive the majority of his opportunities against left-handed pitching.

Both backstops were ranked among the top-10 catchers in all of baseball by MLB Network’s The Shredder earlier this offseason — a luxury the Dodgers are thrilled to have.