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Dodgers: Dave Roberts Feels Cody Bellinger Has Been a Victim of Bad Luck



After weeks of little to no traction in the NL West division race, the Dodgers have finally broken through and gained 2 games on the Giants. That only leaves a measly half game between the top two teams in baseball. Everything seems to finally be clicking for the Dodgers, the offense is throwing up numbers, the rotation has been an anchor, and even the bullpen has been putting up zeros. 

However, the team does still have one big weakness in the form of Cody Bellinger. To get right to it, Bellinger has been awful this season, it’s widely known. He’s scraped together a below average .172 batting average with 9 homers and 32 RBI. Although he’s acknowledged Cody’s struggles, Dave believes the 26-year old centerfield has been the victim of bad luck this season. 

“I thought he looked great. I think that when Cody does square the baseball up which he did in his first two at-bats, unfortunately he’s having some tough luck.”

Bad luck or bad play?

There have been plenty of instances where Cody has hit the ball hard this season, only for it to find a glove. Doc may be a bit right there. Looking at his BABIP (batting average on balls in play), which can help indicate if a player has had some luck or bad luck, it’s at .206 which is below his career average of .286.

With that being said, it’s also hard to ignore that Cody hasn’t hit the ball as hard this year. He has a hard-hit rate of 34.6% which, again, is below his career average. Not hitting the ball as hard will affect how many balls fall in for a hit as well as regulate someone to platoon duties.

Still, you can’t help but sympathize with him just a little.

“The hard thing for him is where you’re at, you really want results. You want to feel like you’re helping the ball club, but the challenge and the thing that he knows is that we’re all supporting him. He’s just got to continue to grind. We’re counting on him.”

Thankfully for Bellinger, he was able to help out his club in the 3-2 win against Atlanta on Tuesday. With one out in the bottom of the 7th, Cody took a Luke Jackson curveball into right field for a single that moved AJ Pollock to 3rd base. One batter later, Pollock was brought home on a Chris Taylor sacrifice fly out. That wouldn’t have been possible without Cody.

It wasn’t too long ago that he had an MVP-caliber season. He still has tremendous upside to his game, he just needs a find a way to tap back into it. For now, the Dodgers have been able to get the job done without him, yet having his bat come to life would be a huge boost in October.

NEXT: Deadline Acquisition Danny Duffy ‘A Ways Away’ from Return

Written by Adam Salcido

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  1. And the “bad luck” will continue as long as he continues to swing at shoulder high fast balls.

    • I think the biggest issue Belly has was winning the MVP award.

      Before winning, he seemed zoned in all the time, and humble.

      After winning the award, I have noticed a lot of arrogance.

      Just the way he carries himself, the vibe I am getting. It comes across as if he doesn’t need any more help from the coaches, doesn’t seem as if he is putting in the work to stay on top of his game…. Again, just the vibe I am getting.

      Mind you, I like him as a player and I think winning the award so early in his brief career created kind of a holier than thou attitude. And yes, the injuries did indeed play a huge roll.

      Once he comes down to earth, he will be fine…

    • Robin, I would say Roberts is partially correct and that’s where the injury issues come in. But with that off season shoulder surgery and that fractured leg, not having much ST, nobody again could expect 2019 first half like performance, but even with that we certainly didn’t expect this kind of sub par play with a .172 BA with only 9 HR’s.

  2. Bellinger makes his own bad luck with awful mechanics and approach. Yes, he has hit the ball hard on occasion, but he has also had several squib, infield hits.

  3. Yeah, so was General Custer! To be fair though Roberts can’t go around saying, Bellinger just sucks.”

    In the immortal words of the great American philosopher Red Forman, Bad things don’t happen to you because you’re unlucky. They happen because you’re a dumbass.”

  4. For F*ck’s sake, Roberts. Bellinger has done what Tiger Woods did ten years ago – screwed up his mechanics because he can’t make himself stop tinkering needlessly. The Dodgers need to either force him to use a personal batting coach or just sever their relationship with him. Because, as he is, he is a net negative to the team, and the organization can’t afford him.

  5. This article is missing even a brief reference to the most important part of his struggles, the fact of his considerable injuries.
    — These include his right shoulder dislocated in the NLCS doing a high five with Joc, which required offseason surgery, and also a very concerning fracture to his left tibula/shin when he was spike near very end of spring training after already having missed most of it. Not to mention hamstring tightness later on in June.

    If he wasn’t already considered a star like he is, he would have been figuring out more of this in the minors, and either way, nobody would’ve made a big deal about even a normally average player who has gone through such injuries struggling for a while.

    If he can start turning up his production in time for the postseason as in the next few weeks, and so far there a some early glimmerings, considering he pretty much missed spring training, and dealing with these injuries, then he is right on schedule for when I’d start expecting him to perform closer to his best.

    • High five last year, as we all ‘the rest’ here know, wasn’t with ‘Joc’ but with ‘Kike’, man, come on! Cody needs to correct his swing mechanics BIG TIME, period, it’s about time, lower the body center, bring that bat from back there a little more over the hitting zone, etc., etc., etc., instead of being so stubborn about his ‘from little league’ approach and the like, IMHO. Hitting coach, DO IT!

  6. Hey DR, denial of a problem never solves the problem. It’s not about luck, or the alignment of the stars, or any other cosmic or karmic phenomenon. Bellinger needs to go back to square one, and reinvent his stance and swing. He doesn’t need denial or excuses. That only hurts him, and the team. Get him some help.

  7. Whether it is bad luck, or bad swings, or bad stance, or bad injuries, or bad whatever, the end result is that he is hitting .171 and striking out at about 26%, and that does not work in MLB. It is that simple. Fix it or he sits, or is gone. We all know how it works.

  8. It’s been 2 1/2 years since Bellinger put up MVP numbers in the 1st half of 2019. He clearly has the talent & ability to do it again. I don’t know what the reasoning or excuses were for the 2nd half of 2019 or all of 2020, but I know when right, Cody can carry the team offensively and he is an elite (gold glove) defender in the outfield & 1st base. I give him a pass due to the injuries he’s been battling since the shoulder bump with Kike for 2021 but if he doesn’t change his approach to his ab’s (see Trea Turner, Will Smith, Justin Turner’s 2 strike approach to shorten the swing to make solid contact to put the ball in play) during this offseason it’s time to fish or cut bait – send him back to minors to work on it or sadly, move him out. I’ll always remember that huge Game 7 homer in 2020 playoffs vs Braves that won the pennant so I have a big spot in my heart for Cody. I hope that he can restore that MVP production at the plate when healthy because with his obvious talent and ability, he can carry a team offensively and I’d hate to see him do it in another team’s uniform.

  9. To put it in a different context, given Bellinger’s performance this year, who thinks the Dodgers would t have traded for him before the deadline?

  10. I agree with Charlie, Bellinger’s problems go way back before he screwed up his shoulder with Kike. Have any one of you really looked at Bellinger’s eyes? Looks lit up to me as if he is not fully there. Coming to think that he is a bit slow from the neck up, fails to learn, lacks plate discipline. Bellinger’s problems are not going away anytime this year…..Winter ball, a clean shot next year but if he still falls below the Mendoza line, cut your losses, pack your bags, and do not let the door knob hit you in the a…..

  11. Given how Bellinger has been playing this year, who thinks the Dodgers would have traded FOR him before the deadline, this year?

  12. I don’t think it is bad luck at all. Something is wrong. Zero idea what. I am sure he has tried a hundred different things, but he is just having a terrible year. He is a good fielder, but what we need now is bats and we have others who are doing a significantly better job. He deserves to be benched. I am sure it is eating him alive, but he just isn’t producing.

  13. Bad Luck my arse. He is not hitting; his mechanics are off – as others have said.

    The solution (my view only) is a short “injury stint” and playing every day in AAA with a hitting coach with him….in the hopes that he can make the necessary changes before the playoffs.

    If that does not work, then a long winter where hopefully he starts over and gets right before next year. If that doesn’t work…well let’s hope it doesn’t get to that…

  14. He is the most overrated player for the Dodgers. He needs to be gone after this season is over. Use him as trade bait for an all star outfielder.

  15. I would like to know how hard he’s working and what he’s doing to correct the problem before trashing him

  16. This is really getting old and tiring,reading,hearing,seeing and writing about how Roberts has FAILED to fix Bellingers hitting problems…If Lonzo Ball was able to fix his awful shooting mechanics why can’t the Dodgers fix Bellingers awful hitting mechanics?If you want to blame his injuries being the reason why he’s batting .170,the better the reason to simplify and change his batting stance,so he can square the ball up and have some hitting success like T.Turner and Muncy!

  17. So tired of all the excuses for poor Beli. BABIP does not take into consideration the amt of pop-ups or strikeouts. Or hitting into the shift. And the problem with his batting style is he has an elevated swing and swings for the fences every pitch. A Dodger hitting coach won’t help because that’s what they preach. Also he didn’t have a great 2019. He had a fantastic 30-45 days in April/May and other than that he was below avg. He stopped hitting to all fields and the level swing to go for the HRs. He needs to forget about the MVP and go back to basics. I won’t go into the eyes but I’ve seen that look plenty of times.

  18. The last game Bellinger was in the line up they said he was 5 for his last 38!! That’s not bad luck that’s u have series issues pull your head out and change your stance? Approach? All of the above?
    He should be benched until he figures it out. Any decent inside fastball or slider he is out and every pitcher in the league knows it.
    He has talent they need to fix him over the winter right now his hitting is the definition of insanity. He tries to pull everything. He either pops up, strikes out or pulls the ball into the shift. Bench him!!

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