Things have not played out the way Cody Bellinger had hoped for in 2021. The Dodgers outfielder immediately ran into bad luck with a break in his leg and things have not improved much since that day. Injuries aside, he just has not produced.
Entering the Dodgers’ game on Monday, Bellinger was slashing .171/.247/.319 with a .566 OPS. All of those marks would represent the lowest numbers of his carer, by far. The power hasn’t been there, the strike zone command hasn’t been there, and the success has yet to show up.
Bellinger was not in the lineup on Monday night against LHP Drew Smyly. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts essentially confirmed prior to the game that Bellinger would only be in there aginst righties, something he’s hinted at in recent weeks.
We have other guys that have performed really well all year long against left-handers. I think it gives Cody a day to re-set when left-handers play. There might be times I put him in there. But I think, for the most part, I don’t see him against left-handers at this time. We have other guys, like I said, that have performed. It’ll give him time to get off his feet, work on his mechanics, get his body strong and be ready when called upon. This is where we’re at with our ballclub. Yeah – that’s where we’re at.
The Dodgers now have Mookie Betts back and AJ Pollock is tearing the cover off of the ball all year. With the addition of Trea Turner to take over second base, that forces Chris Taylor into the outfield more often. There just isn’t enough room to have Cody in there on a daily basis.
Simply put, he’s the odd man out in the Dodgers outfield. He’ll still get at-bats against righties and get playing time, but it won’t be nearly as much as he is used to. The time might have already run out for Cody to find it. But that doesn’t mean he can’t be very productive.