The Los Angeles Dodgers made multiple roster moves prior to beginning their four-game series with the New York Mets, including placing Austin Barnes on the 10-day injured list due to a strained left groin.
Barnes’ injury created an opportunity for Will Smith, who was called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City for his first experience in the Major Leagues. Though not on the active roster, Smith did join the Dodgers last September simply to witness the intricacies of a big-league setting.
That Barnes was placed on the IL didn’t come as much of a surprise. He sustained the injury while running the bases in the sixth inning of Sunday’s win against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and a trainer checked on Barnes and initially allowed him to remain in the game. He was then replaced by Russell Martin before the bottom of the sixth began.
While Barnes is sidelined, Roberts anticipates a return after the minimum 10 days on the injured list, via SportsNet LA:
“I would say in Austin’s words, it was a three out of 10 as far as how much he felt it. But the right thing for us, especially when you’re talking about the groin area where it’s so dynamic, we’re going to put him on the IL. Once those 10 days are up, I expect him to be active again.”
Following the Dodgers’ sweep of the Pirates, Roberts said the team was not yet certain of the severity of Barnes’ groin injury. Roberts said Monday that the 29-year-old attempted to lobby his way to avoiding the IL.
Beyond Barnes’ competitive spirit fueling that discussion, the attempt is further understandable considering he had just begun to heat up at the plate. Barnes began the season on a positive note but his batting average drop to .198 as the Dodgers concluded their previous homestand.
He put together a four-game hitting streak, collecting multiple hits in three of those contests. Barnes’ hitting streak was snapped on Sunday but he did work two walks and was hit by a pitch.
Barnes is batting .231/.345/.393 with seven doubles, four home runs and 15 RBI this season. Although he provides positional flexibility, the Dodgers have exclusively kept Barnes behind the plate thus far in 2019.