The Dodgers are back home at Dodger Stadium for the final home stand of the regular season. With that said, a little extra work and some home cookin’ is what Cody Bellinger hopes will help him finish the season strong… and possibly net him a National League MVP award.
However, he hasn’t hit a home run in 11 games and during that stretch he’s batting only .225 while OPSing .551. He’s in a slump.
Now, Bellinger was found putting in extra work with the bat ahead of Tuesday’s contest against Tampa Bay.
One of the Dodgers taking extra batting practice today is Cody Bellinger, working on an opposite-field swing.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) September 17, 2019
.304/.407/625; 44 home runs, 112 runs scored, 108 runs batted in, 161 wRC+, 8.2 bWAR — this is what the back of Cody’s baseball card would show if the season ended today. And if the season ended today, that would undoubtedly be the best Dodgers season since Adrian Beltre in 2004.
But for those paying attention every step of the season, you look at that slash line and wonder how much is left in the tank for Belli. You also may ask yourself who the real Cody Bellinger is — the guy that hit .379 for the first two months of the season, or the guy that’s batting .256 since.
In 2017 he finished with a .267 batting average and a Rookie of the Year award. In 2018 he finished batting .260 in a season that felt like a struggle from start to finish.
Now in 2019, he was being called the guy that could challenge the .400 mark all season long — early everything came so easy to him.
Perhaps he got complacent? Or maybe the “M-V-P” chants got to his head — he says they did.
Or more realistically, he was never going to bat .400 for a season. That’s a lot of pressure for a 24 year old. So is hearing MVP chatter all season, and seeing your name up at the top of the leader board in home runs.
Cody Bellinger is an immense talent, but it seems that he may have started the season so phenomenally that he set himself for failure.
Now he sees the MVP race likely in his pocket with the loss of Christian Yelich for the season — and he looks at 11 games remaining on the regular season calendar — and he’s at Dodger Stadium before a game, putting in work to make himself better.