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Dodgers: Cody Bellinger Still Working on ‘Mechanical Things’ with Coaching Staff



To say this isn’t the year we were expecting for Dodgers slugger Cody Bellinger would be a massive understatement. Or maybe I should say former slugger. The 2019 National League MVP has been a shell of himself while battling through swing issues and changes over the last two seasons.

Then the injuries struck.

Offseason shoulder surgery to repair a labrum damaged by a few too many subluxations suffered on diving plays on the infield and finally done under on a home run celebration last October. He started spring training this season late and got into only 10 games before opening the season as the starting centerfielder for the Dodgers.

Four games later he’d get stepped on and suffer a fracture in his lower left leg that took nearly two months to heal. But now he’s back and, save for a hamstring strain in June, has been generally healthy for the last few months…

So where are the numbers?

How about .162/.237/.300? That’s Cody’s triple slash line as of Wednesday morning. If he had enough at-bats to qualify for a batting title, he’d be dead last in baseball in average, on-base percentage, and slugging. His 49 wRC+ and -1.6 bWAR are among the worst in baseball and by far the worst of his career.

But, despite what people in the comments section may say or think, Belli’s trying. He’s putting in the work daily.

On Tuesday, Dave Roberts said that Cody is out there grinding with the hitting coaches daily. Coated with a tinge of frustration, the Dodger manager noted that they’re all really just trying to find something that will click and stick with the struggling outfielder.

There’s just some mechanical things that they’re trying to clean up… and obviously they’ve been doing that for quite some time and trying to find something that clicks and sticks. A lot of it is the mechanics and the approach and just getting on the field, just him working where it can be quiet and methodical I think sometimes that can be beneficial for the hitter.

Related: Mookie Betts Confident That Cody Bellinger Will Figure it Out

Unfortunately, the early work didn’t pay off for Belli after posting another 0-4 night. But, in positive news, he did drive in his first RBI in nearly two weeks.

The numbers show a player struggling with timing. The eye test shows a player with a very long and complicated swing. And the season is running out of games for him to prove he honestly deserves a spot on the postseason roster — Gold Glove defense or not.

The Dodgers are in a precarious spot with Cody Bellinger. You don’t give up on a player that was the league MVP less than two seasons ago. But at the same time, you can’t keep running a player out there that is costing your team more wins than a replacement level player.

NEXT: Roberts Praises the Growth of Will Smith as a Big Leaguer

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. Maybe he should work out his mechanics in OKC? You know, instead of leaving dozens and dozens of runners on base in the big league. Like Colletti says, “This isn’t the try hard league.”

    Someone should remind Roberts of that.

    • I am with you on this one, Tim. Maybe Cody, who I actually believe will eventually get it together, should “work on his mechanics” in OKC. This is something many of us have been saying repeatedly for months. Now that we are at the end of the season and vying for the top of our Division, we really need to play smart ball. Keeping Bellinger in the lineup only to strike out nearly every at bat, especially with the bases loaded, is just not smart ball. Please Cody, prove me wrong tonight,

  2. The Dodgers way to play baseball. Justin Turner screwed up last nite by hitting 2 homeruns. El Bencho tonight

    • Now Bellinger he knows how to play the Dodgers way. He’s 0 for the road trip and he’s back in the lineup!

      • Funny you say that….

        On the pregame broadcast, they mentioned that since Albert hit a HR last night, ‘How could you keep him out of the lineup tonight’. The guy who does not hit RHP at all…..

        Meanwhile, JT hits 2 and sits on the bench tonight….

        You just can’t makeup this stuff!

      • Kirk, now that ya mentioned Muncy, it was said by Roberts that Muncy would get a day on Thursday. WSS. All I know is tonight Giants came back to win their game in the 9th while Dodgers fell short in this game with Cards. The difference between these 2 teams is obvious and is why Giants are now 2 games in front and another BP game is in Dodger’s plans tomorrow SMH. Oh and Bellinger may be in lineup tomorrow too.

  3. PLEASE send down Bellingham and White to the minors and let them work it out down in AAA. I. cringe every time they hand the ball to White.

  4. Must be on the 5 year plan cuz haven’t seen any progress. Just a downward spiral. Interesting to see Justin on the bench today. Roberts must be thinking those 2 homers yesterday tired Justin out. Time is running out

  5. And, the lineup makes no sense at all. Trae leading off is good; or Betts. Then comes the doubles machine, Seager. We’re up 1-0. Third spot BELONGS to J Turner. Muncy in cleanup.

    Then, start it all over again: Betts (or Trae, pick one) at the 5-spot. Followed by another extras hitter; Smith. Another run. Taylor in LF at 6, and the other two OF’s in 7 & 8. Guess who in #8? I’ll give you three chances and the first two don’t count!

    But, moving all these guys up and down the order is detrimental to the team. Just ask Zaidi and the Giants…!

  6. Todays players are young and fit. Have the best trainers, equipment and diet regimen.
    Yet, the managerial staff wants to ‘rest’ them.
    What a load of crap.
    These guys can play 162 games. Don’t even tell me they work for a living. It’s a game. A game they are gifted to play to make multi millions.
    Turner hits two out, last night. Management ‘sits’ him. Baloney.

  7. ONLY LH PH on the bench tonight was Billy .150 McKinney, who took two of three strikes for a K.
    16 pitchers on the roster and McKinstry, Lux and Beaty all at OKC. Brilliant, Roberts!!

    • LOL. Let me make this for what may very well happen for this year. Giants look like they have the division title the way things are going now so if Dodgers end up inthat one and done game, it figures to be against the Padres and Blake Snell, whom the Dodgers couldn’t handle at all this year and it won’t be due to our pitching, but Dodgers will be sent home because of an inept offense .

  8. Some guys talking about Matt Kemp and Bellinger having the same injury. That’s true but in Kemp’s case her name was Rihanna. (Rim shot)

  9. If I were Dave Roberts I put Albert at first, move Mad max to second, and Put Trea Turner in Center. It is logical

    • Yes it is Alex, but so is Bringing the best bench player on this team up. Beaty rots in OKC and once again Bellinger and Mckinnley produce nothing. Dodgers lose game primarily because of lack of offence. Dave doesn’t relate to logic, SPOCK he will never be….

  10. PaulDodgerFan – I’ve been saying all along Snell/Padres are going to beat the Dodgers 1-0 in Wild Card game. Run will be unearned on error by Bellinger. Scherzer, among others, won’t resign because of knucklehead Roberts.

    • I agree that a Wild Card game against the Padres would be ugly, specifically with Snell pitching. But at this point, I refuse to concede that the Dodgers do not still have an opportunity to win the Division. Admittedly, now that the gap between the Giants and Dodgers has widened, I am not as optimistic about our chances; but, lest we forget that the Dodgers have been in many a challenging position. This is completely redundant but “We have got to play smarter ball and stop doing what is (painfully) not working (offensively and/or defensively.)” There are twenty-one games left, sigh…Come on Dodgers!

  11. In Cody’s starting out years the worse thing that happen to him was MVP year. If he would have just marked it down as a dam good year I think he wouldn’t be having these issues with the bat, I think he believes because of his status he has to produce and thinking you have too is showing his play now. If he would drop down to single A work on live pitching it might give him a chance to get his mechanics back and mind set back were most of his troubles are. Of course this is a big IF

  12. Fine him $10,000 each and every time he swings at a low pitch and his knee hits the dirt. And it is LONG past time for OKC. I am sure he is tortured by his performance. But he isn’t doing anybody any good – including himself.

  13. Surprise Surprise Surprise!!! TWO articles in one day about Bellingers poor hitting!At the professional level and a team that’s worth over 3 billion dollars!This should have been dealt with a long long time ago…I recommend a YouTube video ” Braves Star Freddie Freeman Tutorial Hitting Off The Tee”Problem solved!Free of charge!

  14. Bellinger has lost his confidence. With CT3 not hitting, the bottom of the order is a black hole. Why the hitting coaches can’t get Belli to stop over swinging is an indictment of their ability.

  15. He may be working on mechanics but don’t see a change in his swing. A BS reason to keep him in the lineup?

  16. Why don’t all the tinkerers leave the poor bastard alone? Managers and coaches – the not-so-good ones – too often overcoach with atrocious results. See Bellinger!! Stop messing with the guy’s head! Too many know-it-alls=crappy results! I repeat, see Bellinger!!!

  17. Cody Bellinger is beyond fixing mechanics thing. Since the Dodgers can’t send him OKC because he has 5 years in MLB ,the only alternative is trading Bellinger in the off season along with Lux to sweeten the deal for a starter pitcher

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