Dodgers News: Will Smith Activated From Injured List, Keibert Ruiz Optioned
Will Smith
Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers activated Will Smith off the 10-day injured list and optioned Keibert Ruiz back to their alternate training site on Sunday. Smith is expected to start at catcher in the series finale against the Colorado Rockies.

He missed just the minimum 10 days required for a stint on the IL due to a neck issue that he suffered during a collision at home plate against the San Diego Padres earlier this month.

In 14 games this season, the Dodgers’ young catcher is hitting .188/.341/.406 with two home runs and eight RBI. Smith has been a victim of some bad luck, and if he’s able to get the pendulum to swing back in the other direction it would give the Dodgers a well-rounded duo behind the plate.

Smith had been working out at the club’s alternate training site over recent days in anticipation of returning. “He took at-bats, homered, sac fly. Came over here, caught a ‘pen early. I would assume that he’ll be ready to go [Sunday] and be in the lineup,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Saturday.

Austin Barnes took over starting catching duties while Smith was out and swung the bat pretty well, putting together a career-best seven-game hitting streak. The two were essentially splitting time behind the plate before Smith went down, so it will be interesting to see if that again is the case now that Smith is back.

Ruiz impresses in first taste of big league action

While Ruiz falls victim to a roster crunch with Smith returning, being optioned has nothing to do with how he performed in his first cup of coffee in the big leagues.

The 22-year-old showed why he is so highly touted in the Dodgers farm system, going 2-for-8 with a home run in the two games he started while also playing some solid defense. Ruiz homered in his first career at-bat last Sunday at Angel Stadium, a moment which he surely will never forget.

Barring another injury to Smith or Barnes, it is unlikely that Ruiz is called up again this season. Regardless, getting a taste of action with the big league club will be a valuable experience for him going into 2021.

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