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.
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.