Dodgers News: Austin Barnes Passed Initial Concussion Test

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The Los Angeles Dodgers lineup on Tuesday night included Austin Barnes and Will Smith both starting in the series opener against the Miami Marlins, with the former catching Clayton Kershaw and the latter penciled in as the designated hitter.

Smith has received recent starts at DH as he works to come out of a slump that’s set in since the All-Star break. Meanwhile, Barnes has not exclusively caught Kershaw’s starts this season, but the two veterans share a strong rapport.

However, Barnes was removed early due to being hit in the side of the head by the backswing from Nick Fortes. He initially remained in the game during the seventh inning after being checked on by Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and a trainer but was replaced at catcher by Smith.

Following the Dodgers’ loss, Barnes said he was struck pretty flush but avoided a concussion for the time being, according to Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group

“It got me good. Really squared me up,” Barnes said. “I’ve never been hit like that before.”

Barnes had a bruise on his left temple but said he never felt woozy or exhibited any concussion symptoms. He will be re-evaluated on Wednesday.

Barnes was hitless and had one strikeout prior to being removed. That snapped his season-best hitting streak at seven games.

After struggling through much of the 2023 season, the unofficial Dodgers’ captain is batting .298/.340/.404 with one home run, three RBI and two walks. Included in that stretch was hitting a solo homer in the Dodgers’ 1-0 win against the Milwaukee Brewers on August 17.

He followed that up with a safety squeeze bunt that proved key in a Dodgers’ comeback and eventual doubleheader sweep of the Marlins at Dodger Stadium.

What if Austin Barnes has concussion?

Although all appears to be well for the 33-year-old at present time, it’s possible concussion-like symptoms still develop on Wednesday.

Should the Dodgers need to place Barnes on the seven-day concussion list, they presumably would select the contract of Tucker Barnhart from Triple-A Oklahoma City. Barnhart signed a Minor League contract with the Dodgers after getting released by the Chicago Cubs in August.

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