11:08 am: Smith has been activated from the IL, the team announced. Ruiz was optioned to the alternate training site to clear roster space.
9:27 am: Dodgers catcher Will Smith is likely to come back from the injured list and start behind the plate in this afternoon’s game against the Rockies, manager Dave Roberts told reporters (including Ken Gurnick of MLB.com) last night. The 25-year-old successfully caught a bullpen session yesterday, Gurnick adds.
Assuming he is indeed activated today, it’d make for a brief absence. Smith went on the shelf last week with (seemingly minor) neck inflammation. In the interim, Austin Barnes has gotten the lion’s share of starts behind the plate, with top prospect Keibert Ruiz getting his first couple games of big league action. The return of Smith, owner of a career .243/.338/.545 line (128 wRC+) over his first 237 MLB plate appearances, only lengthens a lineup that has been among the best in baseball this season.
In his piece, Gurnick also provides updates on a handful of other injured Dodgers. Most notably, left-hander Alex Wood and corner infielder Edwin Ríos are eyeing returns of their own within the next week or so.