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Dodgers: Cody Bellinger Dropped to 8th in Lineup, Roberts Talks Struggles



Things are not going very well for Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger. In a year that started with offseason surgery and has seen him miss most of the games, Bellinger has really struggled to get things going. 

Bellinger went 1-for-4 last night against the Astros with an infield single. He struck out once and failed to drive in runners in big spots for the Dodgers. He’s not the main reason or only reason that LA got shut out, but he certainly didn’t help their cause. 

That struggle paired with his issues all year has led to Dave Roberts moving him WAY down in the lineup. Bellinger is slated to hit 8th in the Dodgers lineup on Wednesday against Houston, just the 6th time in his career that he gets the start there. 

It’s been a difficult time for him trying to perform at this level. He’s still trying to get the shoulder strength when you’re recovering from a surgery. …So continuing to try to run him out there and give him confidence and get that swing right. But the guys that are playing, we still need to win baseball games. And that has to be the most important thing. -Dave Roberts

On the year, Bellinger is slashing .165/.262/.284 with an unsightly .546 OPS. He’s struck out 55 times in 202 plate appearances and continues to miss fastballs right down the middle. But the Dodgers have too many good bats in the lineup to let him figure it out in the middle of the order. 

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Thanks to his defense and speed, the Dodgers can afford to hit him in the 8 spot. So until he figures things out, you can expect him to see more and more time at the bottom of the order. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. The only reason he’s in the lineup at all is his gold glove defense. When Trey Turner arrives, even that won’t keep him in the lineup.

    • Hello Tim. I was just going to ask the question of what happens to the lineup that’s suppose to be winning games when Trea arrives this weekend? What it means is the best starting just might not always include Bellinger for every remaining game.

    • I agree. Trea Turner will replace Bellinger in the lineup. So Bellinger should be sent to the the alternate site to reinvent his swing. Sitting on the bench in LA won’t accomplish anything.

      • It’s not a swing issue, it’s a health issue, and all the advanced metrics show that (avg exit velo, swing path, etc…). His shoulder is not healthy, and he should be shut down. He shouldn’t go anywhere to work on anything, he should be shut down to heal and work on building back up his shoulder strength.

        It’s totally ridiculous and embarrassing it hasn’t already happened.

      • Just look at Bellinger’s stance – staight up like a stick with the bat weighing heavily over his shoulder. Roberts & the hitting coach cant see that & get him more into a crouch like all the top lefty hitters? Ridiculous – a terrible fault of their staff & of Bellinger himself.

  2. Maybe Bellinger should be DROPPED to the… MINORS INSTEAD…along with JANSEN AND ROBERTS , keep making the same mistakes over and over.the old adage If it’s not broken don’t fix it ! Well it’s broke !!!!

  3. It’s so pathetic he is still in the lineup. To recap, he is slashing .165/.262/.284 with an unsightly .546 OPS. Anyone else would be in OKC by now to get his act together. Heck, any other manager would have at least benched him. Not that he’s helpful coming off the bench either. Remember when fans used to shout MVP, MVP every time he came to bat? Now they should shout OKC, OKC!

    • You know; Cody has actually been getting a bit better contact lately. But not a lot of people have noticed. And all you naysayers here will act like you have been behind him all the way when he pulls out of this. MAN!! An off season shoulder surgery with no real rehab. Then a fractured leg. And he is playing MLB baseball and has been for a month now. HMMM! Surgery in December on a shoulder. Broken leg in April. Then out for 2 MONTHS!! Back playing and getting back to square one at the MLB level. Give the guy a break. He should have been given a half game regimen his first 3 weeks back. But other guys injuries did not allow it. I hope he goes on a tear just to see what you guys have to say.

      • Well now that most other key players are back and Trea Turner will be here soon, it might just serve Cody well to step aside and return to more rehab at the AZ site. Nobody including me ever expected the same power producing and RBI numbers he had in 2019. At least not this year. Remember Adrian Gonzalez how it took him at least a year to gain the power back. But nobody also never thought that he’d be this off with a .163 BA, 55 K’s in 202 AB’s.

      • The double off of the wall in left center was a good sign, but followed that up with a weak pop out to second. He needs to get off of the plate and why he won’t is frustrating. The hitting coaches we have need to do a better job. He opens up on every swing because he has no choice because of his standing on top of the plate and last night be swung at a 95mph up, but in the zone on the outside edge, had no chance of hitting that pitch and of course he missed it badly. He is unable to stride forward with his stance and plate placement. He needs to either be sent down or to the Arizona site which is the preferred choice.. Do not mean this as a joke, but maybe he can take a few dozen swings off of Hammels, might help both. Maybe they should pound a 2×4 into the ground somewhere around 6-8″ back from where he is currently standing, forcing him to adjust. When T. Turner hits town our defense will not miss Cody, so just get him right already.

      • Well said; been saying the same thing. His shoulder wasn’t ready when he missed spring training and wasn’t helped when immediately waylaid by a freak play at first. He’s had zero opportunity outside of games to work. Fact is he’s been awful but has been run out there because with all injuries there’s hasn’t been much choice. With Turner’s arrival he’ll get the chance. BTW: No one noticed he’s had a hit in the last 2 and has only struck out once in both.

        Well he’s simply getting the same treatment Seager got 2 years ago, JT got last winter before signing (remember he couldn’t hit the fastball any more and his power was gone), and AJ has gotten since he’s been with the team. AJ’s is particularly egregious since outside of his awful series against Washington in ’19, he’s been outstanding and worth every cent of his contract.

  4. Even with this defense, Bellinger is below replacement level player (WAR) in both FanGraphs and Baseball Reference stats. If the team is not going to send him to the alternate training site (Camelback Ranch) then use him as a late inning defensive replacement where he can provide a modicum of value to the team.

  5. You would think ownership would “clue in,” but I guess if Kasten and Co are in the same frame-of-mind set, then I guess this is all we can expect. I would have thought as rich as the team is, would they also want a WINNER on the field?? Yeah sure, sign Hammels, you could have used him maybe…..FIVE years ago. It does not make you smart AF, it makes you look cheap.

  6. Doc is finally realizing Belli is a rally killer, but I still don’t agree w/ the batting order he has today. Shake it up a little to get more production, for instance:
    1. CT3—did well when replacing Mookie, still hot
    2. Seager—-most comfortable @ 2; less pressure than #4 after IL, still adjusting to game
    speed
    3. JT— sandwiched between 2 solid lefties is still ideal
    4. Muncy—#4 makes him more aggressive to attack, too passive @ 2, best contact & RBI
    producer
    5. Pollock—-hottest hitter right now along w/ CT3, needs to move up not @ 7
    6. Mookie— ease him until hip gets better, still cannot run @ full speed, risking reinjury
    @ leadoff
    7.Smith—- grind of season taking a toll as a catcher, take some pressure off his mind
    8. Take your pick between Belli, the 2 Mack’s, or Beaty. All LH bats w/ blah production.
    Have to wait until T. Turner arrives then the lineup can be re-adjusted. But right now need to try something different to get production to score runs. The name of the game is to outscore the opponent.

  7. Cody Bellinger should be in OKC by now. The Dodgers are wasted at bat for keeping him in the lineup. Another$16 millions USD wasted by FO. this year on top of Bauer $102 millions USD .

  8. When Trea gets here, Cody needs to be our left handed power bat off the bench. Also, late innings defensive replacement.

    • I would guess that most here believe that is the plan with Cody that Dodgers should go with. Because let’s face it, Trea Turner isn’t coming here to be a bench player, he’s going to be in the starting lineup somewhere.

  9. Johnnie and Dave M called it. Gotta hand it to you Wayne for your loyalty. Truth is truth. If Bellinget needs to build the strength in his shoulder, it only seems practical to allow him to do that in OKC. The team is deep in the outfield now. Jansen needs an OKC term to work on his game also. Robert’s, doesn’t need a contract for 2022. Dusty Baker has already said he would not be returning to Houston in 2022. The front office needs to approach Dusty Baker. He’s an old school baseball genius and a former Dodger. It’s a no brainer. His record as a manager speaks for itself.

  10. Dodgers bounce back and beat the Astros tonight. Great to see the early offense and the great debut by Scherzer.
    Didn’t like the fact that the Dodgers had several opportunities to expand the lead but couldn’t do it, including wasting a lead off Double by Seager. The BP was shaky again, but thankfully the cushion was big enough.
    Just hearing that Jimmy Nelson is out again, so the unreal, non-stop injuries continue.
    Dodgers have won 3 of 4 and need to win at least 10 of their next 15, to really get a run started and make up ground. We’ll see how they manage with just 3 reliable SP’s and a shaky BP. Offense has to step up big time.

  11. Have him watch Rizzo on the Yanks and see how to hit close to the plate. Rizzo will power them into the playoffs. Belinger,Doc,and Kenley may keep us out of the playoffs!!

  12. When T. Turner arrives and can play, I’m praying Roberts takes Bellinger out instead of Taylor. Roberts sits back saying Cody’s defense is enough is crazy. We are losing games. When you are having trouble scoring runs, you play those who are producing runs. Cody seems to have swinging issues ever since his MVP season and the second half of that season wasn’t very good.

    Players used to play every day. Now they need days off to rest! They are supposed to be in better condition, eat healthier, and now, they need regular rest. Pitchers used to pitch every 4 days and while doing that, they pitched a lot of complete games. Now, they are considered to have a “quality” game if they pitch 6 innings and give up 3 runs. The way the Dodgers are playing, that is a loss in most games. The only reason we are “only” 4 games back is that the Giants had a bad streak at the same time.

    Leave the players who are doing the best in every game! Send Cody down to Triple-A and give him a lot of at bats until he proves he can at least hit .250.

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