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Dodgers Hoping That Cody Bellinger’s Big Hit Gets Him On Track



This season has not at all been what Cody Bellinger had hoped for. It started with offseason shoulder surgery and he followed that up by suffering a broken bone in his leg in just the second series of the year. Add in a hamstring injury that has hampered him in the lineup, and it’s understandable why the Dodgers haven’t gotten much production out of him. 

So when he stepped up with a big homerun on Saturday night, you could see the relief on his face in the dugout. Bellinger tied the game for the Dodgers in the 7th inning with an absolute blast that landed beyond the visitor’s bullpen

After the game, Dave Roberts talked about Bellinger and what he has gone through this season. The Dodgers manager also said that he thought coming through in a big moment like that could help him break through. 

I can’t say enough about Cody’s work. I think we live in a world of results, but behind the curtain, he’s grinding and working really hard at his craft. To get a result like that with a big hit certainly was a weight off of his shoulders I think, and we needed it. It can absolutely kind of get some other good things in motion. 

Bellinger was slashing .171/.269/.293 with 5 homeruns coming into Saturday night’s game. His .562 OPS is also by far the worst mark that he has put up in his career with the Dodgers.  If this was the moment that helped him break through, it couldn’t come at a better time. 

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Roberts had said this week that Bellinger would be relegated to a platoon role moving forward and that he would get starts against right-handed pitching. That might be just the motivation that he needs to get things going in the right direction.

And if we can get anything close to what Bellinger can normally put up per season, the Dodgers are going to be flooded with talent. 

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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. One unconscious home run doesn’t make up for the pathetic season he is having. Which hot hitter will get benched by Doc to get his pet back in the lineup?

    • Today Dodgers are facing a LHP. Roberts had said Betts will get today off coupled with the off day for Dodgers on Monday. So if Bellinger doesn’t start today and Betts doesn’t start, who plays RF? Pollock will be in LF, CT3 in CF.

      • Maybe TTurner in CF and CT3 in RF? Not sure how much, if any, RF CT3 has played previously, though. So, you pose a great question. I’m guessing Roberts will muck it up somehow.

      • Roberts’ comment about platooning Bellinger was foolishly optimistic given Betts’ injury for the very question you just asked. Now with Cody’s recent signs of life, sitting him would be foolish in general.

        Dodger 1955 – why did you call Bellinger’s HR unconscious? This is what we were all waiting to see no?

  2. Bellinger still slowly recovering from injury. The pitch he hit out was a low breaking ball. The fastball is the pitch he has had more trouble with. Tturner is a fantastic player no doubt.

  3. It was great to see Cody hit the homerun last night, and it would be nice if that homerun triggers something in Cody to get him back on track. I hope that it does, but I believe that it will take a bit more. Cody needs to be out of the spotlight for a brief stint in AAA to get himself together, and I am not just talking about to correct his mechanics. Cody’s mental game needs just as much attention; and, maybe afterwards he will be better able to perform at the level he is capable of.

  4. I’m sure Belli is working hard to correct issues and get on track, but Robert’s quote seems to imply his (Belli) problems are more mental and less mechanical. With all due deference to all Dodgers staff whose job it is to make Belli successful, how can a former MVP still in his early prime look so lost at the plate.

      • Paul:

        Yep, there was a likely drop-off but this year he has been nothing short of jumbotron ugly.

    • Paul you have a good point. The problem was management’s at the getgo. When Cody started the season was a mistake. They should have given him another 2 weeks fine tuning before putting him in an MLB game. You could see that he was not 100%. As an afterthought, he may have been rehabbing the game where he broke his leg. Now fast forward to AFTER the broken leg (that should never have happened). We had Peters, Raley, Neuse, Sousa and other minor league players getting starts. And Beatty playing outfield where he was not good defensively. So Bellinger was rushed back. 2-3 weeks early AGAIN. If he was needed active, they should have had him on a half game regimen. Ease him in. Well he is coming around now. Maybe he is ready to go on a tear. He has looked pretty solid at the plate the last week. My final thought is that he will end up above .250 at the plate for the season. He seriously has just missed on 6 or 8 outs he hit into the last little bit. So lets stand behind this guy. He is going to rattle a few cages the rest of the season.

      • Bellinger is in the lineup contrary to what Roberts told us yesterday about him only starting against RHP. But Dodgers in this case really had no other option because Roberts already planned to give Betts today off to go with Monday’s off day. Only other choices were McKinney or Beaty, both LHB. But going forward Bellinger must also compete and handle LHP going forward if he wants to remain in lineup. He was platooned along with rest of team during the 2018 season. Bellinger wasn’t to happy about that so that following off season he worked on his craft and in 2019 actually hit better against LHP as a result. 18 of his 47 HR’s in 2019 were hit off LHP. Heck, many MLB players don’t hit that many for the entire season.

  5. Expect them to lay an egg following a win. This is a .500 team still riding that 11-3 start and that one tiny run they had in like late June early July that teased everyone

    • if Mookie holds up, and the rest of the team can get reasonably healthy, they’ll be the favorites come post season time.

      • that is the question. Betts in a world of hurt from playing RF on astroturf a few roadtrips back. He and Kersh have to come back or the Dodgers will be on thin ice. Those 2 are key to winning the division

    • Love the optimism! Expect them to win big time after yesterday’s victory. going up a pitcher with a 12.00 ERA will get it done. Trea Turner and Corey hitting, with Max and CT3 is enough firepower for Buehler to win another game.

  6. ya just can’t give up on a guy with Cody’s talent BUT that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be working his butt off to fix his swing and timing. I maintain he has needed a tutor brought in from the outside to work with him specifically. Someone like Reggie Smith. The option to revamp his swing into a line drive, extra base hit type swing exists but I don’t think the club wants that approach from him and he doesn’t want to go there either. My prediction is that is where he will end up at some point. The Dodgers in general need to figure out when to do what’s necessary to get RISP home. Current baseball offensive philosophy is geared toward HRs. Cody would do well to clone Muncy’s ABs. How awesome would that be. Just compare Max’s swing to Bellinger’s; the difference in approach and results is obvious.

  7. anyone notice that the 2 hits in the first were to the opposite field? THAT is what will get the Dodgers going at the plate. Getting Trea was so huge. Dodgers can and will do this – assuming Betts and Kersh come back strong. We need Betts big time, for all the same reasons we love Trea. Unbelievable we have 5 tool players now, with CT3 just about there as well.

  8. “big homerun ” That’s NOT what will get Cody back on track. That will just reinforce his swing for the fences mentality.
    Sure enough, the next game, bases loaded, and he SO swinging.

    I’ll just bet is was a ‘violent’ swing. Its all he does.

  9. It’s a good sign but let’s wait until he gets north of the Mendoza line before getting too excited. I know Roberts is impressed with the work Bellinger has put in, but this isn’t the “try hard league” like Colletti says. It’s performance based.

    • If Betts is able to play this coming week, he will be in there against LHP and Bellinger can get work in on the side if he’s thus not in starting lineup . But with JT being down for a few days, CT3 will get starts at 3rd. That means s that Cody may have to be in OfFanyway.

  10. There’s a lot of games left. A player doesn’t just suddenly lose skill unless its something physical like injuries or maybe he needs eyeglasses. Perhaps he’s figured it out, his swing looks quicker lately, lets see how he does the rest of the way. Most of us are rooting for him.

  11. Did you guys see the stat that Bellinger’s avg against pitches below 93 MPH he hits 250..ANYTHING above a 93 MPH Bellinger whiff’s bigtime. The good news is the Homer Bellinger hit yesterday was a 93 MPH fastball. So if teams know this, they throw him high fastballs. So maybe “predictable Roberts”, should only play Bellinger against junk ball slow pitchers. But it is painful watching him whiff over and over and over on Fat fastballs right down the middle.

    • I saw Cody hit his second HR in as many days. the one Sunday was a high fastball! And he didn’t miss it! That’s the pitch if he can hit that again and again, then look out gnats! Coming back from shoulder surgery and trying to hit a baseball far is pretty tough.

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