TODAY: Smith is indeed going on the seven-day concussion IL, the club announced. Outfielder Anthony Santander takes his spot on the active roster.
YESTERDAY: The Orioles expect to place outfielder Dwight Smith Jr. on the injured list, manager Brandon Hyde told reporters after Thursday’s loss to the Rangers (via Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com and Rich Dubroff of BaltimoreBaseball.com). Smith crashed into the left field wall in the fourth inning, eventually forcing him to exit the game.
“He’s going to be out for a while,” Hyde said. “He’s going through concussion protocol, they’re going to X-ray his shoulder up here that he banged in the wall and he’s holding his jaw. It was like a car wreck.
The 26-year-old Smith has been one of last-place Baltimore’s best offensive players this season, which admittedly isn’t saying much. Still, Smith has perhaps given the Orioles better offensive production than they could have hoped for when they acquired him from the division-rival Blue Jays in early March.
In his first extensive look in the majors, Smith has hit .249/.296/.462 (98 wRC+) with 11 home runs, a .213 ISO and four steals on five attempts across 243 plate appearances. Smith has not complemented his respectable offensive output with quality defense, however, as evidenced by his minus-5 Defensive Runs Saved, minus-3.3 Ultimate Zone Rating and minus-6 Outs Above Average.
The Orioles replaced Smith on Thursday with Stevie Wilkerson, who could take over as their main left fielder if the former does go on the IL. Should Smith miss time, Baltimore would likely summon an outfielder from the minor leagues to take his roster spot. The team’s 40-man outfielders in the minors include Joey Rickard, Anthony Santander, Cedric Mullins and one of its top prospects, Austin Hays.