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Dodgers: Cody Bellinger Working on Swing Through Slump

No rest for the weary.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 14: Cody Bellinger #35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts to his two run homerun in front of Austin Hedges #18 of the San Diego Padres, for a 4-1 lead, during the third inning at Dodger Stadium on May 14, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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.

.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.

Final Thoughts

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.

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.

9 Comments

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  1. Baseball is a game of adjustments, the league has adjusted to Cody’s hot start, now Cody needs to adjust to the fact they are mostly pitching him inside because he stands right on top of the plate.

    If he backs off the plate a little bit, he will start to make better contact on the inside pitches.

  2. Cody, Needs to relax and get back to the zone, just go with the pitch , does not have to over power his swing ,enjoy the game ,his at bats, and things will come , no added pressure…”PLAY BALL”

  3. 2 great months do not make a season nor a mvp award. Dodger fan but last 4 months of season batting 256 does not put the mvp in his back pocket. Pitchers have adjusted to him and he has not adjusted to them. MVP should go to the player who is consistent and has contributed the whole season.

  4. Hoping his extra work pays off. He has hit a lot of balls right at fielders. If he could dunk a few into left field; or lay down a few more left side bunts; the shift would have to relax its heavy right side setup. He was doing this early in the year. It would get him a few 2 strike hits here and there protecting the plate.

  5. 2 things Cody Bellinger needs to do to get his swing back:

    1. Stop trying to hit homerun on every pitch.
    2. Stop playing Fornite late at night.

  6. I think its funny that he is working on his swing. He should be working on his balance. If you watch him earlier in the year with his new swing he was on balance and he was not throwing his butt in the first base dougout. He has no bend in his lower body and bends at the waist to get on plane with the ball which throws his rear end away from the plate and away from the ball.

  7. Belles is looking more and more like he is reverting to habits he had last year. He is swinging at bad pitches, and his stance seems compromised. I am sure the FO is going to do everything they can to work with him so that by the time the post season begins, he resembles the hitter we saw earlier this season.

  8. First, as far as those defensive shifts go, I believe allowing teams to have 4 OF is going a bit too far as far as I am concerned. If ya saw last night’s game ya noticed the Rays doing that and that should not be allowed. IMHO allowing teams to employ 4 OF for a shift against any hitter is undermining the way the game should be played. There are only 10 games left in the regular season and it probably is best that Bellinger forget about tying or breaking Shawn Green’s franchise single season HR record.

  9. i think he is slightly fatigued from playing every game. his bat swing in slightly slower,.

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