Impact Though Smith is considerably more explosive offensively than Barnes -- the former slashed .289/.401/.579 with eight homers last season, while the latter put up a .244/.353/.314 line with only one long ball -- the Dodgers value Barnes' defense to such a degree that they played him over Smith behind the dish frequently during their postseason run in 2020. In that scenario, Smith was able to shift over to designated hitter, but with the DH not expected to be utilized in the National League this season, he's not going to see as many at-bats as your typical starting catcher. "If you look at timeshare, I guess [Barnes is] a backup, but I don't see it as such," manager Dave Roberts said Sunday. "I think it's a 1 and 1A. They're both very valuable, and I think that we've done a good job of using both of them and exploiting strengths and things to help us win baseball games." That doesn't make it clear exactly how playing time will be divided between the two, and Smith is productive enough to be a valuable fantasy contributor even if he's out of the lineup a few days per week, but the situation bears watching early in the campaign to get a sense of how things will shake out.
3 DAYS AGO • ROTOWIRE