4 Dodgers players who need to step up before it's too late

San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers
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Austin Barnes

In all seriousness, Dodgers fans are legitimately wondering what Austin Barnes' value to this roster is. Will Smith can catch Clayton Kershaw without issue, and the split stats don't show a discernible difference to give Barnes the nod.

Barnes bat has always been bad or below-average, but he's reached a new low in 2023. He has a -5 OPS+ heading into this weekend's series. He's hitting .107 across 30 games. His lone productive offensive season came in 2017, yet the Dodgers felt the need to give him a $7 million extension that kicked in this year. He's under contract through 2024 with a club option for 2025.

It was yet another failed micro investment from Andrew Friedman, a trend that's become rather disturbing when you realized how many of the low-risk, high-reward moves haven't panned out. They add up, and all the misses probably could've paid for one big-time, impact player.

Simply put, the Dodgers cannot have an active roster consisting of Rojas, Barnes, Trayce Thompson/Jonny DeLuca, and Chris Taylor. Taylor is probably where you draw the line: he stays because of his contract and versatility, but this many underachieving/inexperienced players can't possibly be part of the World Series equation.

The Dodgers have Hunter Feduccia at Triple-A and he's been raking. It's probably more worthwhile to give him a shot than watch Barnes wither away and not even make a difference when paired with the pitcher he was signed to catch.