The Los Angeles Dodgers are off Thursday after a stretch of 20 games in 20 days, the maximum amount of consecutive days allowed by the collective bargaining agreement. They ended the stretch 10-10, and are 13-13 on the season. Today's off day might be of particular help to Rod Barajas, who has been an iron man of sorts behind the plate.â†µ
Barajas started 16 games in the last 20 days, and during that stretch hit just .138/.200/.345. He also hit four home runs during those 20 games, including a key three-run shot in Wednesday's win over the Marlins, his fifth game caught in a row. His 10 RBI during the 20-game stretch trailed only Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, and Juan Uribe on the club.â†µ
The Dodgers knew what they were getting with Barajas when they re-signed him last winter, a catcher with power and poor on-base skills (he had a career .284 OBP heading into this season, and was .284 last season as well). So far, that's what Barajas has provided, tying for the team lead with five home runs but is also hitting .182/.235/.377 on the season.â†µ
Barajas has started 21 of 26 games behind the plate, and is fourth in the National League in innings caught. That seems like a lot for a 35-year old catcher (a pace of 130 starts over a full season), especially one who has averaged 91 starts in the last seven seasons, eclipsing 100 starts behind the plate just three times.â†µ
It might be time for the Dodgers to give Barajas more time off.â†µ
For more news and information on the Dodgers, be sure to read the SB Nation blog True Blue LA.