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Dodgers: Dave Roberts Discusses What He Feels is Ailing Cody Bellinger



The Dodgers have had an up and down season this year, but no one has had it quite as bad as Cody Bellinger.

For whatever reason, the former MVP has had a tough time at the plate all season long, carrying a .158 batting average into their series against the Padres this weekend. This obviously isn’t how anyone expected his year to go, but no one has been able to pinpoint a reason for the drastic change in production.

Prior to Saturday’s game, manager Dave Roberts spoke about his outfielder, doing his best to analyze the issues with Cody while also praising his continued dedication during his struggles.

When any player struggles, the mental part bleeds in and there’s a chasing component of numbers and wanting to carry your own weight, but our offense is comprised of many players. My message to him is that every day is a new day, try to help us win a ballgame. He hasn’t wavered in his defensive attentiveness, preparation, work.. so now it’s on the offensive performance side, which we all expect – with him at the top of that list – to get better.

To say that Bellinger has struggled offensively is a massive understatement. Heading into Saturday’s game, Cody was still hitless in the month of September. His batting average of .158 is by far the worst of his young career, and there’s no sign of things changing any time soon.

Related: Cody Bellinger back in the lineup on Saturday

That being said, however, Cody is still doing everything he can to contribute elsewhere. He has still been a stud defensively, and his lack of production hasn’t changed who he is as a person.

“There’s a lot of frustration, but I think he’s handled it glowingly”, said Dave Roberts.  “Like I said earlier, he hasn’t wavered from being a good teammate, trying to make it up if he’s not getting hits then take away hits, and come in fresh every day. And that’s my expectation for him.”

There is just too much talent there for Cody Bellinger to not snap out of his slump eventually. While his 2019 MVP season may have been his peak, there’s plenty of reason to believe that he’s currently going through his lowest point before finding a happy medium.

Time is running out for the Dodgers outfielder to find his stroke during this season, but that doesn’t mean that this has to be the new normal. There are a few arbitration seasons left before Bellinger hits free agency in 2024, and you better believe that he’ll do everything humanly possible to get back on track before then.

Written by Daniel Palma

Daniel is an avid sports fan who loves his hometown teams. If he's not watching baseball, you can find him playing or coaching. No matter what, he'll always root for the Boys in Blue!

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  1. Let’s turn our attention to the fact that Dodgers offense has a total of 12 hits in the past 3 games. Folks, that won’t get it done and chances are. even with great pitching, remember it will only take that one wild card game for the opponent to outscore you and your season is over.

    • Yep. Sherzer and Buehler are competing for the Cy. Urias has been huge. He is in uncharted pitch count territory, and appears to be getting stronger. Even the bullpen games have have worked out pretty well. But 4 hits per game makes it tough to win games. Muncy and others should snap out of their dry spells. But Bellinger, and other season long failures need to sit. We can’t subsidize their failures, while so other performers are having short term dry spells. Beaty could give a spark if allowed to play. Lux hit the ball today. That’s more than Bellinger has done in his last 25 ABs. We’ll see. It’s a good thing Sherzer is starting tomorrow. We’ll see if the Snell power over the Dodgers continues. But they can:t get much fewer hits than they have been getting.

      • Not only did Lux hit the ball, but he consistently made contact every time he swung. At one point he fouled off 4 in a row, and then he ended up getting that double down the left field line. Compare that to Belli who consistently sits down after not making any contact. The fact is you just can’t have Belli in the lineup if he can’t even make contact with the ball. Work on fixing everything in the off season and spring training.

        • Lux has too much talent to have been so ineffective this season. I would like to see him use his speed more by bunting and making the defense play him honestly. In the off season he should get with Maury Wills and learn bunting and base stealing. I think he thinks of himself as a HR hitter. He’s not. To maximize his benefit to the team, he could become a player that puts a lot more pressure on the other team.

      • I say forget about the division and in these last 19 x games, fix the freaking offense. Even in the wins, we barely push across 4 x hits. That is really pathetic, folks. I think we will see the Reds in the one game playoff. The Padr÷s schedule is brutal.

      • Dodger106W. In thinking about it, the way the Giants are playing it will probably take 106 wins to overtake them. That means the Dodgers need to go 16-3 to close out the season. Not going to happen getting 4 hits a game.

  2. I really believe that there is no justification for Bellinger to be playing at all, much less starting. He should be in AAA or better yet, at the Spring Training facility working on his swing. They should probably be starting from scratch. Have they checked his eyes? Everything needs to be considered. He needs to be honest about any lingering issues with his shoulder and anything he may have done to compensate.

    • He looks like he is not swinging as quickly or hard and fast as in the past. My guess is that he has adhesions from the shoulder surgery that he has to “break loose.”

  3. Bellinger had zero plate discipline to go along with swinging for the fences every at bat. His refusal to change his approach…to hit to all fields…has been idiotic. What he is doing is the mark of insanity, doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results. He needs to be DFA’d to prevent Roberts from putting him in the lineup. No other manager in the world would still have an automatic out in the lineup at this stage of the season hitting.158

    • Agreed, it’s so bad that we have to micro analyze his every swing, every stance, every AB just to see a glimpse of any advancement or hope of him just surviving the AB. We’re all reasonable people on these talk boards, but the time to evaluate and analyze players and their failures while trying to change them is a spring training/rehab lower level facility responsibility, not in the middle of Sep in a heated divisional playoff race ALL at the expense of the very HEALTH of a team. This is the very factor that drives we fans absolutely crazy. It’s NOT fair to the rest of the team or Organization to allow such failures to cripple the teams chances. The animosity towards Roberts is justified and warranted because of such Biased reasoning, it’s not directed so much at Bellinger. Roberts BETTER just face the Fans RIGHT NOW and say ” Bellinger will be on the Playoff roster no matter WHAT he does, no matter how bad he is, because I feel it’s BEST for the team” !!!!!!!!! Of course, we all know he has a history of avoiding addressing the truth with the fan base, so I say just let him keep up his lies and self indulgent chaos regarding the team and we’ll see where it get’s him in the future….

    • He drew a walk and scored from first. That’s plate discipline in my book and hustle. I’d stick with him on the roster, though not in all situations.

      • You and Roberts can console each other and lament “why? Oh why did the best team in baseball lose that wild card playoff game? We had everything going for us. The best pitching, the best infield and we even had the best defensive outfield. So what if Cody Bellinger struck out 4 times and stranded 6 base runners. We needed his glove in the outfield because, like who else can play right field like Cody can? No one else on the team can catch the ball like he can. They can hit. They can hit like nobodies business. But, they just can’t field a ball like Cody can. So, why did we lose? WHY!?”

  4. I saw a different Cody Bellinger last night. Short to the ball,compact and head still. he also didn’t look like he was trying to hit the ball 500 feet. Maybe it was a one night wonder but if this iteration of Bellinger stays I believe it’s only a matter of time before the old Bellinger reappears. Let’s see what he does from this day forward,September 12th.

  5. IMNSHO, Belli came back too soon from his shoulder surgery. Breaking his leg early in the season didn’t help either. Naturally, he wants to help his team, but I don’t think he — or the Dodgers — should continue risking his heath. If we’re really True Blue Dodger Fans, let’s get off his case (and Doc’s). Disclosure: I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV.

  6. Don’t give a dam about how Roberts feels about Beli. He has already shown he knows nothing about managing or feels anything about the BP. His feelings are more about being liked than good baseball. They bring Beatty up only to have him sit while Roberts plays a 158 hitter. Surprised they didn’t put Lux on the IL instead of McKinney.

  7. Biggest mistake the Dodgers could make would be to give up on Cody….probably the best would be to put him on the I L for the the rest of the season . Rest his shoulder and clear his mind … Don’t forget he is a super plus defender and still has value….Truth is we have NO real quality depth in the OF…Are reality is can we beat SD or the Reds with only 4 or 5 hits .

  8. Surprise!Surprise! Another article on The King of Pop Ups poor hitting! Roberts is once again clueless on why he’s not hitting.No solutions and he’s embarrassing!

  9. I believe a couple of weeks in Oklahoma City might shock him into reality. He’s a great defender but there IS no time. Bring up somebody that can hit. If Roberts doesn’t do now, the party is over and he can enjoy the playoffs on TV.

  10. Folks, it’s Sunday, a day game after a night game and ya all know what that means– Robert’s ‘spa day’ lineup which means no Will Smith, no a couple other key players SMH……

    • No worries Paul, he’s got Belli to bat clean up, has Souza to plug in for that Lefty Righty matchup, and Graterol rearing and ready to shut down tatis and Machado……No worries while the boys rest, we got this…..

  11. Please get rid of Roberts before it is over. Leave belli along it roberts that made the change you need him inthe outfield hope someone will do something before roberts will say it the teams fault

  12. He’ll be just fine. It’s just a slump! If you play baseball long enough you’ll eventually go through this type of thing. You have to be mentally tough to play a sport that has a 70-80% failure rate (hitting). Put yourself in a place that most of the time, YOU FAIL!

  13. Bellinger has changed his stance since, believe it or not, growing out his hair.
    His swing has morphed into holding his head up at an angle to keep his helmet from falling off. It’s changed his stance and eye focus. Look at his tapes.
    His entire swing and focus have developed, quite unconsciously, into an effective way to hold his batting helmet on. In simple terms he needs a haircut and his old 2019 batting helmet.
    Do you remember a few years back when Kershaw was being written off by the pundits? His issue was resolved by losing the bulky muscles he built up. Back to sinewy and his arms fell into their natural place to pitch…
    Please watch the Bellinger at bat tapes…you’ll see it also.

  14. Miller, I’ve seen enough Bellinger tapes for the last couple years that would make sinking of the Titanic, Dropping the Hindenberg, and the detonation of the A bomb look like relieving events….

  15. Like I said last week, Dodgers need to be eliminated with the WC game; that’s the only way deep necessary changes will be made. If that happens and Scherzer sees it, maybe he’ll be open to a contract extension and we win the big one in `22.

  16. cutting bellinger loose would be one of the all-time most stupid decisions the team could make. those advocating for that are advocating for a permanent solution for a temporary problem. the guy has way too much talent not to get his game back. needs to fix the swing, yes–that’s doable. the power will take care of itself.

    and allegedly (i don’t get to watch often), he’s recently made a change. that tells us what? that YES, he is willing to make necessary changes. that’s a start. he’ll get better. maybe not in time to have a great playoffs…but he’s got a few relatively cheap years left to figure this out. my money says he’s comeback player of the year next year. if not, if he’s bad for a full year, a HEALTHY year…then i’d say maybe the devil came and stole his baseball ability.

    for now we’re complaining about a guy whose biggest failing is that he wanted SO BAD to get back and help the team that he came back to quickly, both from the shoulder surgery and the fractured leg. then he’s been screwing with what was a great swing for 2 years. MISTAKE. now he needs to rediscover that old swing.

  17. Well because of shoulder surgery and a fractured leg, upon coming back, I don’t thing anyone here expected the 1st half 2019 version of Cody. But in a tough division race, we certainly didn’t expect to see a .158 BA from him either.

    • Don’t worry Paul, over the last couple weeks he’s racking up a .065 average! Roberts sees what he wants to see.

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