Dodgers News: Cody Bellinger Starts at First Base

Defense now on full display at 1B.

After surviving the Joc Pederson era at first base, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts finally said enough is enough. Earlier this week, Roberts announced that the Pederson at first base “experiment” was over, and that Cody Bellinger would resume seeing most of his time back at the position.

Not to drag Pederson through the mud — he tried admirably, but he is a fine left fielder attempting to learn an extremely nuanced position mid-season. Points for the effort, but it ultimately was a key-cog in the defensive meltdown through parts of June and most of July.

Today, Cody Bellinger has his name inked into his usual 4 spot in the batting order, but once again, the 3 spot on your score card. “Bopper,” as his teammates call him, has played sporadically at the position since injuring his shoulder on a dive in May. Dave Roberts had hoped to keep him away from the position until the playoffs — and the team had its eyes set on trying to win him a Gold Glove Award in right field — but the time to start playing your best brand of baseball proved to be paramount.

Moreover, back onto Pederson, today he’s once again tasked with playing right field at Dodger Stadium for a 6:10pm PST start, which is no easy task in August. The notorious sun-field will be an issue for the outfielder that is making his second career start at the position tonight.

Best of luck, Joc. Stay healthy, Cody. And let’s go Dodgers.

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. Nooo! Please. Play Beaty at first, Belli in right and Pederson in left (if you must play him at all).

  2. The Dodgers were weak coming out of spring training and nothing has changed. Just look at the number of inherited runners that have scored and how many games that were either tied or lost with this group. Friendman could have fixed this back when free agents were out there but, no, he didn’t make the moves. Yes, I agree with him on protecting our potential stars but look at how many never make it. He had his chance to make a move to get another arm that has to be an improvement over what we have now. Can you imagine going into a World Series against whomever with this group of relievers. Putting starting pitchers into the bull pen may sound good but these guys haven’t proven they can get the necessary out even when starting since they are our 4 or 5 starters. If we win, which I doubt, great. But if we lose again, it’s all on Friedman and since this is the last year of his contract, it’s time for him to find another job.

  3. Yesterday Tyler White made a fatal throwing error on what should have been a 3-4-3 double play (first – second – first), instead he threw the ball right on the back of the runner from first to second. That led to two men on first and second, in what should have been an easy 2nd inning for Dustin May, turned into a run scored, it also got May’s pitch count close to 40. It ruined Dustin May’s confidence, to me that was the error that caused Dodgers the game, because all the hype and momentum was on Dustin May, and yet Tyler White couldn’t even hold his own playing first base defense. I get Dave Roberts trusting these new guys like White and Negron, but at some point these guys will eventually make crucial mistakes both on offense and defense. There’s a reason these are journeymen players, but when you have rookie pitchers like May or Gonsolin, put the strongest lineup behind them.

  4. Cody Bellinger is at 1st, why? I understand that (thankfully) the “1st base experiment” has ended and the Dodgers want to make room for Joc in the outfield tonight. But Beaty is more than capable as an infielder. Makes more sense that Joc play left where he is comfortable and Bellinger stay in right where Bellinger prefers to be….I must be missing something. As for world series….when we get there, I am determined to be a (maybe somewhat delusional) believer that it can happen “on a wing and a prayer.”

    • Barb,
      I am with you completely. Bellinger is the best first baseman we have……..but he is also the best outfielder we have. Moving him back to first weakens the outfield and allows other teams to take extra bases they would not even attempt to take if Bellinger were out there. We understand that with several injuries that necessitate moving people around right now it’s not ideal, but there are several options still available to play first until Freese returns (like Beaty)…….but let’s face it………any manager who would bat TYLER WHITE in the lead off position, probably isn’t playing with a full deck.

      • Your last sentence says it all I believe. Tyler White is not an answer at 1st base but here is something even more ludicrous than that…Tyler White was batting 5th right behind Bellinger the other night. That is absolutely no protection for Cody in the lineup at all. Muncy, Pollock when he’s in there and even Freese when he gets back are guys that can offer a bit more protection for Bellinger in the lineup. If I am the opposing pitcher I pitch completely around Bellinger and would walk him intentionally if the situation warrants each time what with the ‘protection’ Roberts gives him when setting a lineup.

  5. I trust that roberts and Co. discussed this 1st base move with Bellinger. They know what happened to him on May 3rd with his shoulder upon diving for a ball. If he were to get injured again playing 1st my guess is that both Roberts and Freidman would be crucified and nailed to the cross.

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