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Dodgers: Cody Bellinger Set to Open the Season as Cleanup Batter, Roberts Talks Progression



When the bell rings in earnest for the Dodgers on April 1st, things will look pretty familiar for fans, lineup wise. In fact, it already looked pretty familiar on Sunday in Anaheim. Mookie Betts leading off, Corey Seager in the two-hole, and Justin Turner batting third made up the top of the order. And Dave Roberts opted for Cody Bellinger in the cleanup spot.

After the game, Doc said get used to it.

We’re gonna stick with Cody [batting fourth]. I like Cody in the four. I like his ability to get on base and attack the baseball. For now, I like Cody in the four and Max [Muncy] in the five or six … depending on handedness. Depending on how the opposing team has their bullpen constructed.

Still looking to get his timing back after offseason shoulder surgery kept a bat out of his hands for most of the winter, Bellinger has looked a tick off in his 22 spring at-bats this far. However, as Roberts noted, he’s taking plenty of “A swings” showing that he’s perhaps not that far off from locking in.

Related: Breaking Down Cody Bellinger’s Batting Stance Changes

After picking up a pair of walks in Sunday’s loss, the manager expanded on what he’s liked out of Bellinger over his first week or so of ballgames.

I think he’s seeing the ball well. I like the way he’s getting off his ‘A’ swing a lot. And now to take a couple walks I thought was really good also. He’s taken 25 plate appearances this spring, but he’s really baring down because he knows it’s been an abbreviated spring. He’s in a good place to start the season.

The Dodgers play two more games before the stats count for real. Moreover, as a helping hand, LA will be opening the season on the road in Colorado at a ballpark where Bellinger has a career .348 batting average with an OPS of 1.094 over 31 games since 2017. After four games at Coors Field, the clubs heads to Oakland where Cody has 3 hits in 6 at-bats.

Whatever is better than home cooking, this is it for Cody Bellinger.

NEXT: Clayton Kershaw Ready For Opening Day Despite Rocky Spring Training

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

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  1. Bellinger batted 136 in spring training. He’s obviously not ready. Muncy struggled as well, hitting 233. Neither one of them should be hitting in the cleanup spot right now. Will Smith hit 359 and is a reliable hard contact hitter. I’d rather see him in the 4 spot until Bellinger gets healthy, and Muncy comes around.

    • Not a bad idea for Will Smith batting cleanup. He has good power and with the hard contact he usually makes, he thus can become a good RBI man too. But with no DH Will Smith sits instead when Barnes catches. So when that happens,Bellinger or Muncy would really be the only choices for batting 4th should Smith not be starting.

    • Belli put a really good swing on that homer yesterday, and Muncy has crushed 3 balls in his last 2 games, they seem to be revving up in time for the season.

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