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Dodgers: Cody Bellinger Declines Invite To 2019 Home Run Derby

Says he will consider the 2020 HR Derby in Los Angeles, However.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have had a representative in the MLB Home Run Derby the last five seasons. Now – if they’re going to continue that streak – someone other than Cody Bellinger will need to carry on the tradition.

On Monday, Bellinger told Jose Castillo that he doesn’t plan on participating in the competition this year. This year’s Home Run Derby will take place on July 8 in Cleveland at Progressive Field.

While some may be disappointed at this news, it wasn’t all bad. Bellinger left the door open for the possibility to do the competition in 2020. Of course, that Home Run Derby will take place at Dodger Stadium.

Bellinger took part in the 2017 derby, losing in the semifinals to eventual champion Aaron Judge by one home run. Currently he is third in the NL in home runs with 25.

Analysis

Early on, I have seen just as many fans happy to see Bellinger sit this out as I have disappointed. Moreover, the child in me wanted to see Bellinger go out and do this contest. Baseball added the ‘small’ incentive of a million dollars to the winner. Plus, what is a home run hitting contest these days without Cody Bellinger?

However, I am willing to see that the decision comes with some maturity on Bellinger’s part. He’s in the midst of a long season, and his eyes are on greater prizes. Of course, one of those could be a Triple Crown. The other could be a possible World Series ring. I’m okay with letting Christian Yelich and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. battle out an exhibition in Cleveland while Bellinger hands them a Gatorade bottle. And it gives me a possible excuse to fly to Los Angeles in 2020 when he announces he’s in.

Written by Clint Evans

Clint lives in Ohio, and played collegiate baseball. He loves the Dodgers due to his first memories of Chavez Ravine when he was nine years old. The voice of Vin Scully has been a staple in his life since he was a kid. No amount of baseball talk is ever enough, and he wishes the regular season was year round. He has written about baseball online since 2007.

3 Comments

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  1. Clint……….I look at this as VERY good news……….it shows me he is interested in the team goals and that personal accolades are not his priority. Then there is the fatigue factor you mentioned, along with the history of hitters struggling at the plate after appearing in the derby.

  2. Anyone notice how the DBacks/Louvello kept walking Bellinger to handcuff our scoring last nite? Hopefully Dave Roberts did…….he needs to stop batting Muncy and Taylor directly behind Cody. He needs to use Verdugo, Beaty and/or Freese to hit behind Bellinger at all times. Force the other team to face one of our better base hitters, then follow them with the Muncy power………make them set us up for a big inning every time they walk Cody.

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