Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers wrapped up their series with a victory against the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday, but Austin Barnes also suffered an injury during the game.
With two outs in the ninth inning, Barnes was hit by a 95-mph fastball in the right hand. Barnes repeatedly shook his arm as he went toward first base and ended up being removed from the game to start the bottom half of the inning.
The X-rays on the veteran backstop’s hand were negative, but Barnes was in a considerable amount of pain. The 33-year-old avoided the injured list and he was available on Saturday, but there is still lingering swelling in his hand, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said, via SportsNet LA:
“He’s available off the bench [Saturday], I’m going to start Will [Sunday]. Austin still has got some swelling. Went out and threw, felt OK. He’s in there swinging the bat right now, I expect it to be sour. Fortunately, we have the 4 o’clock game so then the turnaround isn’t so quick. So my plan right now is to have Will start all three here.”
Sunday day games after a night game would normally be a day for Barnes to start, so the Dodgers will rely on Will Smith for one extra day. The club has a day off on Monday, which will give Smith time to recover from catching three games in a row.
Still, it’s a positive for the Dodgers that Barnes didn’t need a stint on the IL, which would have required a 40-man roster move to call up another catcher if he was going to be out longer. Max Muncy is the Dodgers’ emergency catcher, and putting him behind the plate is a situation they would hope to avoid.
Barnes is batting just .103/.193/.128 on the season with just two extra-base hits, four RBI and four runs scored, but the 2020 World Series Champion is considered a leader within the Dodgers’ clubhouse and has received praise for his work with the pitching staff.
Clayton Kershaw upset with Reds following Austin Barnes injury
The Reds made the curious choice to intentionally walk James Outman as they were trailing by six runs in the ninth inning with two outs, which brought up Barnes and led to him being hit by the pitch.
While hit batsmen are an unfortunate part of the game, Clayton Kershaw took issue with Reds manager David Bell’s decision to walk Outman in that situation.
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