Heading into the season, Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger was coming off of a mostly down season and offseason shoulder surgery to boot. Over 10 spring training games, the slugger hit only .179 with 3 home runs while he continued a pattern of work on — or tinkering with — his swing.
Before the game on Saturday, Cody talked about that swing and the time he spent refining it while on the injured list. Considering he missed nearly 50 games, there was no doubt plenty of time to work on it.
Too much time to keep working. I’ve had a lot of FaceTime with RVS [hitting coach Robert Van Scoyoc)] Bates and Brownie [hitting coach Brant Brown]. And there’s been a lot of down time, so it was nice to go out to Triple-A and get some consecutive games in and get some consecutive at-bats.
In 5 games with Triple-A Oklahoma City, Bellinger went 4-20 (.200) with a pair of homers. Not all that spectacular of numbers after continuing to tinker with that swing. Moreover, in his first game back on the active roster, he went 0-4 with a walk and is now hitting only .174 in 2021.
Surely the season is still very much young for Cody, but for the second year in a row, his continued swing tinkering is leaving some fans feeling uneasy. However, one of his biggest fans, Dave Roberts, feels good about the work Belli has put in.
Obviously, 20-something plate appearances [is] not much of a sample. But I do believe that being healthy, working in Arizona, working on the mechanics part of it as he was rehabbing … he’s in a really good place, mechanically, mentally. No one can predict the results. But I think where he’s at right now is really good.
Undoubtedly, Roberts has earned the trust of fans when he says he likes where a player is at. But also… he says that with most players in most situations.
So really, the jury is still out on Cody Bellinger for the immediate future. But the track record says the numbers will be there.