The follow up on Cody Bellinger’s MVP campaign hasn’t gone according to plan for the slugger and the Dodgers. Through 8 games, he has only 5 hits in 36 at-bats, good for a .139 batting average. Moreover, he has zero home runs and only one extra-base hit (an opening day double) on his ledger.
Understandably, it’s early. However, with this 60 game season, it’s gonna get late early. After Cody’s Friday night 0-for, manager Dave Roberts shared his thoughts on what struggles the outfielder may be going through.
I think it’s one of those things where it’s speeding up a little bit. You start to look at the scoreboard and you want to help your club and contribute … but he’ll be fine.
Bellinger’s change in stance and approach in summer camp made waves early. He said he made the adjustment after being unsatisfied with the second half of his season in 2019. Despite working through the shutdown, the shortened ramp up heading toward opening left him less opportunity to work through in-game action. As such, he still appears to be searching for the zone up at the dish.
He’s been doing a great job on defense, but I think at bat, you start seeing him a little bit going out of the zone and trying a little bit too hard. And even some of those borderline pitches, when you’re not going well, they always seem to go against you.
It doesn’t take a scout or even a well-versed analyst to see a little more of the struggles that Bellinger faced in his second season. The strike zone is expanding and he’s getting beat more often on fastballs up in the zone as well as offspeed pitched mix around in and out outside of the zone.