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Dodgers News: Cody Bellinger Relegated to Platoon Role With Healthy Roster



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. 

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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.

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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. Most other players would be sent down to the minors to “re-set” and work on their mechanics. It gives them a chance to play without pressure as well as be in lineup everyday.

      • true. so how bout doc leading the Dodgers to victory last night and gaining a game on the gnats? sat belli too – late inning defensive replacement. and no Kenley, seemed to scratch your itch, but doc can’t do anything about the DH this year!!

        • Correct but for 2022 the Union can. I’m sick and tired of these separate and unfair playing rules MLB has that no other major sports leagues do. Again the rules SHOULD THE SAME FOR BOTH LEAGUES! Both the AL and the NL should play with a DH or both should play without a DH. Let’s make it fair for both leagues. How did you feel about Urias being hit in the left calf while having to bat? It put him on the IL, but Dodgers could have just as easily skipped his turn or 2 to give him a break even if there was a DH.

      • If I am the coach, I will send Belli immediately to AAA while there is still one month to go prior the playoffs. Then, will see him there on a day to day if he’s improved. If improve, he is a big factor this October going to the playoffs.

  2. He needs to be traded away this offseason. He sucks, and people need to boo him so that he can hear our dissatisfacion with him.

    • Nobody actually expected Bellinger to duplicate 2019 1st half numbers including me after shoulder surgery and a broken fibula. But none of us expected his .170 BA with only 9 HR’S that’s come from him this year, as well as again tanking against LHP. And that’s why he will sit against lefties for rest of this year.

  3. He has the best example sitting right next to him in Trea Turner. Take a page out of his book, shorten your swing or choke up a bit. Go with the pitch they throw at you. Know the count, work the situation, slap the ball the other way. Hell, even bunt when they shift on you but please, please stop swinging for the damn fences every single time!!

  4. It could be that his shoulder injury and subsequent surgery have seriously weakened his shoulder and swing, and he may require a much longer rehab time to get back to normal, if ever.

  5. You know the moron that is Dave Roberts will pencil him and his .171 into the starting lineup against Morton tonight. Can’t hurt his feelings, so bench AJ or CT!
    What a farce and

      • Not both Paul, but not playing either would be a big mistake at this point. Dave’s not happy unless Belli and McKinney are leading the charge with their combined .369 BA.

  6. in other news the Dodgers won last night!!! Belli didn’t start, Kenley didn’t pitch and the Dodgers picked up a game on the gnats!

    • Correct, Joe and most of us fans here do not hate on Roberts, KJ, and Bellinger. We may disapprove of their performances at crucial times and we certainly did not approve of how Roberts handled Sunday’s game. Most around MLB probably had issues with this. Fans get frustrated, as I do when Roberts
      continues to do the same things over and over expecting different results, a definition of insanity. But Dodgers made things easier last night by beating a very good Braves team AND a LHP no less. Like I said, there isn’t anyone here that would have expected Bellinger to tank this badly with a .170 BA. KJ, if used properly should do ok too.

    • MLB is a performance driven league and if a player’s performance doesn’t warrant continued regular playing that’s how it works. Bellinger obviously is beyond sub par at this time and if he wasn’t, this conversation would not exist.

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