Dodgers: Three Takeaways From Friday’s Comeback Victory
Austin Barnes is flexing his muscles against right-handed pitching
Overall this season, Austin Barnes has had an okay year with a .218/.326/.749 OPS. The numbers are not eye-popping but it does show that Austin is a big league catcher offensively. His numbers against right-handed pitching is even better. Against righties, Austin has connected for all four of his home runs with none coming against a southpaw.
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For the season, Barnes has a .259/.368/.517 slash line against right-handed pitching which is pretty impressive, especially for a starting catcher during a time when catching is at a premium. Austin has hit an even .100 against lefties, but Russell Martin has gotten the bulk of the starts against lefties which should continue going forward.
What Austin Barnes has been able to do is impressive, giving the Dodgers quality defense behind the plate and a solid bat against right-handed pitching. Austin is one of the best pitch framers in baseball and also a very agile and quick at blocking balls in the dirt. He showcased both of those skills on Friday night.
Rather than trading for J.T. Realmuto, the Dodgers chose to ride the Austin Barnes revival tour in hopes that he could bridge them to Will Smith/Keibert Ruiz. So far he has done a solid job, and all the offensive fireworks he provides are just a bonus.
While he isn’t the Dodgers’ catcher of the future, Barnes is still a very good catcher and a great fill-in option until Keibert Ruiz and/or Will Smith are ready. Out of all the spots in the Dodgers’ lineup, catcher is the weakest link offensively, but the way Barnes has been mashing righties, that could change very soon. Much like CT3, Austin Barnes is awakening offensively.