The Los Angeles Dodgers recently made a bit of a surprising roster move this past week by placing Will Smith on the 10-day injured list. Smith was initially optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City, but because his oblique injury was suffered while with the Dodgers, he was put on the Major League IL.
“That last game in Arizona, he had a check-swing, I think it was, and strained his (right) oblique a little bit or ribcage,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts explained. “He wants to play, but we don’t want him to put himself in harms way.”
The stint was retroactive to June 25, and Smith has since returned, as he was optioned to Oklahoma City on Saturday. He went 1-for-1 with an RBI in his return.
That the 24-year-old is already back with OKC despite dealing with an oblique issue wasn’t much of a surprise, even if that type of injury typically requires a lengthy recovery period.
“I don’t think so,” Roberts said when asked if he anticipated a long road ahead for Smith. “He feels it, and obviously with any of our guys, you don’t want to push him. I don’t think it’s a long-term deal. Hopefully it’s considerably shorter than longer for him.”
In nine games for the Dodgers this season, Smith has hit with three home runs and six RBI. Two of those home runs were of the walk-off variety, and one extended the Dodgers’ MLB record of consecutive walk-off homers hit by a rookie.
Although Smith made an immediate impact during his separate stints with the Dodgers, he may not re-join the club unless Austin Barnes or Russell Martin is injured. The Dodgers are mindful of Smith continuing to receive regular at-bats with Oklahoma City. He is hitting .294/.401/.611 with 14 home runs and 40 RBI in 50 games with the affiliate.
Thus, it’s reasonable to suspect his next opportunity with the Dodgers will come once active rosters expand in September.