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Dodgers: Dave Roberts Plans On Giving Cody Bellinger Time Off

The struggling outfielder will get some time off.



At this point in the season, I have about 200 emails in my inbox suggesting ways that Cody Bellinger could fix his swing. And while I love the passion that Dodgers fans have for their players to be better, it really is just a mystery as to how he got to this point. 

Bellinger is mired in the middle of an 0-for-24 skid and has not tallied a hit since August 31st. That adds to a season that is currently seeing him slash .158/.232/.292 and put up a -1.7 bWAR so far. He’s terrible right now, and that’s putting it nicely. 

But we all know that the talent is there. Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts certainly knows that the 2019 NL MVP has it in him to produce at an elite level. But Doc doesn’t plan on letting him fight through it anymore. 

Gavin is in there [Friday]. I’m going to give Cody a few days just to kind of work through some things. So, whether I decide to go Gavin back in there, we’ll see. Right now, I do know that Cody won’t be in there [on Saturday]. 

The Dodgers faced a right-handed pitcher on Friday night in Joe Musgrove, but Cody was not in the lineup. Instead, they called up Gavin Lux to make a start in the outfield and shifted Chris Taylor out to center. It was the first real time we’ve seen Doc sit Bellinger with purpose. 

Dodgers Related: Doc Hints at Using Guys Other Than Bellinger

The good news is that baseball is often about streaks and riding the hot hand. September is a long month, and Bellinger could find himself in a rhythm that carries him deep into October. Will this rest be exactly what he needs? Only time will tell.

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. Ha, ha, ha. Roberts will give Bellinger a day or two off them stick him back in the lineup using some lame excuse. Bellinger will go 0-4 and leave 5 runners in base again. Roberts will be shocked at the outcome.

    • Sure wish Bellinger would get the same injury Mckinney …. Finally the Dodgers save a little face with we Fans, and make the change that needed to be made for a month. The Dodgers seriously lost at LEAST 10 games because of their blind loyalty to Bellinger alone. Add insult to injury is my new definition of Mckinney..

    • “Gavin is in there [Friday]. I’m going to give Cody a few days just to kind of work through some things. So, whether I decide to go Gavin back in there, we’ll see. Right now, I do know that Cody won’t be in there [on Saturday].”

      Dodgers just announced Saturday’s (September 11th) lineup. Cody Bellinger is in the lineup batting 7th. Ok, Dave Robert told everyone on Friday (September 10th) that Cody won’t be in Saturday’s (September 11th) lineup, but now Cody is in Saturday’s (September 11th) lineup.

      Am I’m missing something? Perhaps there’s a breakdown in communications between Dave Roberts and everyone else.

  2. So a couple of days off will enable Belli to figure out the problem he has had all season with or without the injuries suffered defense since the big swings erase any shoulder concerns and his running does the same for the leg issues. His problem was his stance, and now the mental issue looms larger with each at-bat. I think Roberts waiting so long has hurt Belli more than allowing him to go so long with the support that was detrimental to Belli and the team and has been felt by both players and fans. This team should already have 100+ wins with many losses to SF being flipped.

    • All I know Taryn is when Bellinger is NOT in the line up the DODGERS win!! When Mckinney is not in the lineup the Dodgers Score AND Win……Now if we could only see what will happen to this offence with Beaty starting and Bellinger watching…..Or for that matter start Pujols and play Turner in center, muncy at 2nd Beaty at 1st. If Roberts had a brain he would already be using this line up…..Beaty in, Pujols in, Bellinger mckinney out, would cause EVERY team in baseball a incredibly difficult task to navigate through.. But I guess the analytics dept doesn’t send Roberts the stats on how two players hitting 260 and make solid contact are a better option than having 2 players that hit 170 and lead the league in futility and strike outs differ…Roberts doesn’t seem tounderstand that concept…..

      • I don’t want Fat Albert in the lineup either along with Belli.

        Bett RF
        TTurner CF
        Muncy 2B
        JTurner 3B
        Seager SS
        Smith C
        Taylor/Pollock/Lux LF
        Beatty 1B
        pitcher
        I don’t care if the opposing pitcher is R/L-handed this should be the lineup.

  3. Shouls have traded Bellinger and kept Joc… Bellinger was a flash in the pan.. and a dummy too.. he hurt himself acting like a little kid not a grown man

    • Easy for you to say, Dummy! When you win something dramatic, are you going to stay stoned face or celebrate a little? It was a freak accident by human instinct. But that’s ok robot, you do what u feel is best. Easy for you DUMMIES to throw someone under the bus, until you do the same, HUMAN. Get lost.

  4. He should have been sent down months ago. He needs to totally rework his swing & he can’t do that at the Major League level. He just can’t or won’t make adjustments. Why should he if continues to get playing time? He looks totally lost & his value for the future is in serious doubt without alterations.

    • You said it very well and it might have been a huge help for the Dodgers now if it had been done.

  5. Roberts appears to be sleepwalking this club to a quick exit from the playoffs. Bellinger’s inability to hit as well as a lot of AAA players, has handed a lot of “L’s” to the Win/Loss column. He should have been benched at the All Star Break or better yet send down to OKC to see if he could hit minor league pitchers.

    The Giants continue to play good baseball and the Dodgers don’t. Bellinger is just the hood ornament on this under performing, luxury limo and Roberts is taking us for a ride to the exit gate.

  6. “Just to kind of work on somethings”.Sounds like Roberts is running for office! Another way of phrasing this.”Bellingers hitting problems are not that serious”Okay Mr. Politician,Okay.We’re the suckers!

  7. What is Dave Roberts smoking? Did he actually say that he’s thinking of playing Gavin Lux? Matt Beaty’s name wasn’t even in the conversation. Ok . . . Roberts has to go. Calling Mike Scioscia, calling Mike Scioscia.

  8. Who knows but Bellinger should be given more than a few days off and used only in late innings for defense and late in the game enough so he doesn’t come to bat. But all in all Robert’s in game lineup management ha or will cause an early exit from October. What he did during this last road trip to SF and the Cardinals speaks for itself.

  9. Send Cody down to OK City to work on his swing… Bring up Matt “The Bat” Beaty !!! His numbers are 100 points higher that Belli’s (AVG & OBP)… Tired of watching Cody pop out or strike out with the bases loaded… What we’d lose in defense we’ll more than get back with Matt’s offense and clutch hitting.

    • Cody Bellinger should have started the year in AAA. If his shoulder injury is still bothering him, it’s been 10 months since the surgery, then why did he come back in April?

      Originally the Dodgers announced his shoulder surgery would take only 10 weeks to heal, even Bellinger’s doctor confirmed his recovery in the OC Register article on February 9th, 2021:

      Recovery time for the surgery, which was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, was expected to be 10 weeks. Bellinger reached that point at the end of January. “I think right now we’re right where we need to be, from what the trainers are saying,” Roberts said.

      So if Cody Bellinger was already recovered in January, why is this shoulder injury still a nagging issues? Both Cody’s doctor and Dave Roberts confirmed it in the end of January. Then throughout this whole season when Cody went into a slump, we keep hearing “oh, it’s the shoulder, it must be the shoulder injuries, blah blah blah…” Their stories just don’t stick.

  10. Why not give BOTH Roberts and Bellringer off….until some later date, and McDufus. The 3 have cost the Dodgers the top spot. No doubt they will see SD in the wildcard. At least the game will be played at Dodger Stadium. How will Roberts mess up the lineup for that one?

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