The Dodgers need Cody Bellinger to figure things out, at least a little bit. After a really bad season in which he hit well below the Mendoza Line in 2021, they’re hoping to at least get him back to making good contact.
But Cody showed up to Spring Training this year looking much like he did during the season in 2021. He was missing fastballs, chasing backfoot sliders, and striking out a whole lot. But the Dodgers have never seemed to communicate any sort of worry about him in that process, even with how much he tinkered with his swing.
With Opening Day on Friday, Cody’s stats once again started to matter. And while he did go 0-for-4, the fact that he didn’t strike out means at least something. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was asked about the hitless performance and what that means for Cody early on.
“I’m not reading anything into it. All I know is that he is healthy, and I’m expecting him to have a good year, and to help us win a lot of baseball games. …He’s going to have a runway, which he has earned. I think it’s deserved. And, with what he does in center field, that alone warrants him being in the lineup for a team.”
He tapped out in front of the plate and fouled out in the infield on the first two pitches that he saw of the season. It’s unfortunate that we’re excited about a player just making contact at this point in the season, but that’s just where we are with Cody Bellinger right now. The Dodgers need him to find it.
But until he does, it sounds like his defense will suffice. Cody can play plus defense in centerfield when he is healthy, and that will buy him time in this lineup. But it will not buy him an entire season worth of at-bats.
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