The injured list is becoming a more likely possibility for Dodgers primary catcher Will Smith, who hasn’t done any baseball activity since leaving Wednesday night’s game with a sore neck.
Smith was involved in a whiplash-type plate collision with Fernando Tatis Jr. in San Diego on Aug. 3. He started five more games, but his neck locked up again Wednesday night. On Thursday, manager Dave Roberts reported that the discomfort had improved and localized, but the Friday update was less encouraging.
“Just sort of mild improvement,” Roberts said of Smith. “He’s still really stiff. Not pain, but really the stiffness moving his head side to side.”
Despite playing with a 28-man roster, the Dodgers carry only two catchers, Smith and Austin Barnes. Roberts said Matt Beaty, who caught in college, is the emergency third catcher. At the club’s alternate training site are young catchers Keibert Ruiz and Diego Cartaya, as well as veteran Rocky Gale.
It's unlikely the Dodgers would ask Barnes to catch a Sunday day game in the heat after a Saturday night game for a total of four straight games, so a callup is a possibility, as is placing Smith on the injured list retroactively.
“Considering Austin’s been out there a couple days, expect him in there tomorrow. And Will hasn’t done anything as far as moving around baseball wise, he’s day to day,” said Roberts. “But, it’s not out of the realm of possibility it could happen.”
• Roberts said it’s likely that Tony Gonsolin will start a game within the next week. Gonsolin would be a sixth starter for a rotation in the midst of a 17-game stretch in 17 days.
• Alex Wood is still scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Saturday and a simulated game on Tuesday.