Dodgers: Hitting Coaches Optimistic About Cody Bellinger

Time is very much running out for Dodgers players to get their individual games together. With Opening Day right around the corner, getting things locked in is paramount. But one guy that fans are very much worried about is Cody Bellinger. After a very down season in 2021, Bellinger’s struggles have carried over to Spring Training. 

Belli did not play in the Dodgers Cactus League game on Thursday afternoon. But he has accumulated 17 strikeouts in just 27 at-bats this Spring. He has four hits, all of which have been singles up to this point. 

But the Dodgers hitting coaches has reason to believe that he will find it again. Speaking with media on Thursday, Brant Brown and Rob Van Scoyoc spent plenty of time going over the struggles of Bellinger so far. Brant pointed to the shoulder and the building of strength as part of the reason for the adjustment. 

“The right shoulder is strong again, but also, it’s … just tighter than it was because it used to pop out. That’s kind of why this process is kind of going through what it is because he’s just trying to find his body.”

But the constant tinkering of his swing has not gone unnoticed by Lakers fans in camp. Bellinger has often changed his hand positioning, bat angle, and even his stance in the box slightly. Van Scoyoc added that those were often Bellinger’s decisions and not something they want to get in the way of. 

“If he wants to experiment, he’s his own person and if he comes up with a thought, he has a right to try that. It’s his swing, his career, and we’ve got to be there to help and support him even if you don’t necessarily think that’s the right thing at that moment.” 

It’s one thing to let a guy tinker with his swing, but what Bellinger is doing doesn’t exactly instill hope. He’s missing pitches in spots that he should be hitting, and often reverting to swinging at that backfoot slider. Despite that, Doc likes where he is. 

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“I think where we’re at right now is – he’s healthy, he’s strong. Is there an adjustment, a recalibration with the body? Yes. But at the end of the day, we still have to find something that works, that is consistent, that gives him the best chance to be the best hitter he can be to help us win games.”

Opening Day is less than a week away, and Cody Bellinger will be starting in centerfield. Time is running out for him to find it, and the Dodgers really need him to.

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  1. The hitting coaches say it’s up to Bellihger how he swings, etc. That’s fine, but when you at are being paid millions and it has been totally obvious that wheneve he tries new swings or hand placement and it doesn’t work, the team has the right to ask for what has worked in the past. If I’m not mistaken, his best year was 2019 and he was changing his swing the next spring. He keeps changing it with little success. At some point, management needs to tell him to knock off changing his swing unless they are seeing what they want. We went through last year and all we heard was that his shoulder was weak while he killed one rally after another. If his shoulder was so weak, why not put someone in his place until the weak shoulder excuse is no longer applicable. The replacement couldn’t have done much worse, and probably better. Personally, If this year is similar to last year, trade him. He has all off season to mess with his swing, Instead he comes in to sprng training to work on it. 17 strike outs out of 27 at bats is terrible no matter where you are. Roberts and the coaches say what is necessary to put a good spin on Cody’s hitting. How long are we going to be told he will get back to where he was. Send him down to the minors to work on whatever swing he wants to try. Maybe he should listen to advice from some of the better hitting Dodgers. We did fine without his bat last year.

  2. Of course the coaches, especially the hitting coaches are optimistic that Cody will start hitting. There jobs depend on it. What are they gonna say —- “he sucks”? In the real world, when someone is not productive, he is let go. The minor leagues would catch Cody’s attention.