Few players had as bad of a year as Cody Bellinger did for the Dodgers this season. The former NL MVP went from the end of guy you want to build a franchise around to one you cringe at when you see him walk up to home plate.
That’s how bad the 2021 season was for him.
To be fair, Cody did have surgery on his shoulder this past offseason after he dislocated it celebrating a playoff home run. While that surgery may be far removed, it takes time to get one’s body right and back to peak form. It also doesn’t help when you break your leg only a couple weeks into the new season. Injuries had a lot to do with his regression, but there were also times he looked completely lost and uncomfortable when batting. Add that all up and you get a Belli that managed to scrape together a .165 batting average in 95 games.
The postseason is usually considered by many as a second season or the real season. For Bellinger, it’s a chance for him to reset and make up for the past.
“I think at this point it’s time to forget the season and just worry about the postseason. And just try to help this team any way I can — offense, defense, base running. You know, there’s a lot more aspects to the game and I feel good and I’m feeling healthy, so any way I can impact the game, I’m trying to impact it.”
Cody was able to make an impact during the Dodgers NL Wild Card victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. He went 1-2 with 2 walks and 2 stolen bases of off Yadier Molina. Arguably the biggest moment for him was drawing a 2 out walk in the 9th inning to help bring Chris Taylor to the plate. Without the seal shift in momentum, who knows how the game would have played out, especially with the team’s not so great performance in extras this season.
While Cody hasn’t done too well in the playoffs so far in his career, it’s possible that this may be the start of a new chapter for him. If he can get himself right and make an impact as he said, the Dodgers will be that much more dangerous for opposing teams.