The Los Angeles Dodgers have had some tough luck with injuries this season, and that was again the case last weekend while they were playing the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park.
With the Dodgers leading comfortably in Sunday’s series finale, Austin Barnes appeared to injure his groin running the bases. He was checked on by manager Dave Roberts and a trainer but was able to remain in the game to finish out the inning before being replaced by Russell Martin.
After the game, Barnes was diagnosed with a strained left groin and was placed on the 10-day injured list the next day. The injured wasn’t believed to be all that serious but he was still placed on the injured list to give him ample time to get back to 100%.
Barnes has since resumed workouts, though Roberts emphasized the team is not rushing a return, via SportsNet LA:
“He’s feeling considerably better. We knew we were going to err on the side of caution with Austin and it was probably going to be a two-, three-, four-day thing (of no activity). To have him be available when his time is up to come off the IL, that’s important. So I think it was still the right decision. Each day is getting better for Austin.”
The Dodgers called up one of their top prospects in Will Smith to replace Barnes. That may also be a contributing factor to them giving Barnes plenty of time to heal so they can get Smith some playing time at the big league level.
Unfortunately, the injury came at an unfortunate time for Barnes as he was swinging the bat as well as he had been all season. He was hitting .438/.571/.563 with a pair of doubles and four RBI in his last five games. Overall in 40 games this season, the 29-year-old is hitting .231/.345/.393 with four home runs and 15 RBI.
More so than his offense, Barnes has the most experience in the Dodgers organization handling the pitching staff, so that is what the team will miss the most when he is out. Smith is also known for his defense though which help makes the loss of Barnes easier for the team to deal with.