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Dodgers: Mini Power Surge May Not Be Enough to Win Cody Bellinger Back Starting Role



So far, so good in Cody Bellinger’s return from a fractured rib. The Dodger outfielder suffered the injury earlier this month in a collision with left fielder Gavin Lux (before he attacked the wall). Since then, Lux had taken over centerfield duty (again, before he attacked the wall) while Cody hit the injured list.

Just before Cody hit the IL, he had undergone a swing and approach change that had yielded some mixed results. Now after coming back off the IL, that swing change has produced a home run, a single, and some hard hit outs along the way. With that in mind, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was asked to share his assessment of where Bellinger is at on the swing front.

I think the swing itself is much more functional. He hit a ball hard, stayed through a ball hard last night, which was good to see … [so] as far as mechanically, considerably better.

Where Doc’s tone changed is on his overall assessment of Cody’s plate appearances. Something that seemingly could cost him opportunities in the postseason.

I think now, and granted there’s not a lot of time left as we look out to the rest of the season and through the postseason, it’s still gotta be a quality of at-bat. Not chasing a 3-2 pitch down below [the strike zone]. Really, it’s just continue to compete and take good at-bats and finish at-bats.

The chase has been a growing issue for Bellinger over the last two-plus years. That is swinging at pitches that are balls — sometimes obviously balls — out of the zone. With the emergence of Gavin Lux in centerfield, and mainly his bat having played up in September, Cody has an obvious competitor for his plate appearances in the outfield. In fact, he has someone that’s earned those appearances away from him.

Related: Should Cody Bellinger Get Starting CF Spot Back Over Gavin Lux?

While Belli’s been on a mini power surge since the swing change (2 doubles and a home run in 25 at-bats), that small sample size likely will not and really should not be enough to override an overall terrible season. Still, Dave Roberts loves his guys… and Cody has three more games to make enough of an impression to get his job back.

NEXT: Kenley Jansen Talks About What he Wasn’t Happy With Early in the Season

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

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  1. Beaty hit a home run in his only at bat tonight. Doesn’t that count as a power surge? T Turner had a huge power surge with 2 home runs. One of which was a grad slam to tie a game that looked like it was out of reach. Turner looks like an MVP to me. And Beaty looks like a guy who deserves to start some games.

  2. Roberts stubbornly played Belli while he hit below .100 in Aug-Sep, and that may have cost the division title and (we’ll know in a few days) the season by forcing us into a WC game vs. a hot Wainwright. With Luz playing well, it’s clear to everyone–and I hope Roberts–that Belli should be relegated to a late-inning defensive replacement in the playoffs. If we lose, I can see this team imploding: Sherzer, Seager, Pollock, and CT signing with other teams and Kershaw getting Tommy John, leaving only Buehler & Urias for a year until they are FAs. Things change fast–ask the fans of “dynastic” Patriots, Warriors, etc.

  3. 3 for 25, regardless of the home run isn’t enough, when he leaves runners on base at a high rate wherever he is in the lineup. That’s one of many main reasons this team needs to play a wild card game instead of winning the Division. Belli doesn’t bail the team out, he simply bails out.

  4. Bellinger changing his stance to look more like Ken Griffey Jr is a plus.Now he needs to work on his IQ and stop swinging at bad pitches.I root for him,but we know there’s plenty of criticism to go around,especially with Roberts.I hope Bellinger proves to be a starter in these few games!

    • Bellinger had a good game tonight. A hit, 2 walks, run scored, 2nd walk allowed CT to hit the walk off. Robert’s also pushed all the right buttons yet guys are bitching? WTF?

  5. The guy is a frigging MVP! He has been injured. Roberts plays him in hopes he’ll regain his former form. The guy is 25 years old and has earned a break.
    I really dislike fair-weather fans!

  6. Bellinger looks like the new Chris Davis. He hit a homer against a guy that gave up 9 homers in his last 11 outings as a reliever. Pagan was lucky Taylor just missed that hanger or it would have been 10 big flys.

  7. That’d be great for all non Dodgers fans. A hr. A single. His average is now up to 160 or something

  8. Belli gets 2 games to show he’s a changed hitter – today and tomorrow. Otherwise he’s a late inning replacement in the OF. Definitely need Lux left handed bat in there against Wainwright. doc proved last year he takes no prisoners with his lineups – only the best of the best will play

  9. No, he should just be a defensive replacement, because Taylor and Lux are more efficient with the bat. Dodgers need runs and more runs. Who has more potential right now?

  10. 0-3 and 3 k’s tonight. Should definitely be in the starting lineup tomorrow in maybe the biggest game of the year. After all he was the MVP two years ago and it was just one bad game right Dave?

  11. If the Dodgers need a 1st baseman Bellinger will be in the line up, let’s hope Muncy is good to go.

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