Veteran left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu has a 5.81 ERA in 26 1/3 innings throwing to rookie Will Smith, compared to a 1.60 ERA in 123 2/3 innings throwing to veteran Russell Martin. But Smith will have at least one more chance to show he’s capable of handling Ryu in the postseason when he catches Ryu on Sunday.
“I don’t think it’s necessarily fighting the numbers,” Roberts said of his decision to stick with the Ryu-Smith battery. “Yeah, the numbers are important … but I want to give Will another opportunity to get with Hyun-Jin and see how he fares.
“Hyun-Jin will say it himself. If he’s on and executing pitches, it doesn’t matter who’s catching him. There’s nothing set in stone as far as catching [in October]. We want to play it out so we can make as educated a decision as possible.”
Setup man Joe Kelly has appeared in four games in two weeks, facing two batters in each of his last two games, and Roberts said he will “continue to stay away from” the right-hander because of an unspecified lower-body injury that could affect Kelly’s availability for the playoffs.
“He still feels like he can go out there and pitch, but he just doesn’t feel great with his body,” Roberts said. “The main thing is for him to be ready for Game 1 of the postseason, and with his track record, I can trust that. He has to feel confident and healthy, and right now, he’s not there.”
Infielder Max Muncy suffered a quadriceps injury while breaking out of the box on his seventh-inning, two-run double Friday night and was pulled from the game. Muncy, who has played six games since returning from a fractured right wrist, did not start Saturday but was available to pinch-hit.
“I think he’s playable today,” Roberts said of Muncy, who is batting .248 with 33 homers and 92 RBIs. “But considering his value and where he’s at, it makes the most sense to keep him off his feet. I hope he’ll be back in there [Sunday].”