If you perused the internet searching for articles published on the struggles of Dodgers slugger Cody Bellinger this year, you might have enough to make up a small library. The former NL MVP battled through injuries and slumps throughout the 2021 season, ultimately posting one of the worst offensive campaigns in baseball.
You likely know the numbers (95 games .165 average, 10 home runs, and just 36 runs batted in). And you definitely know about the resurgence he had in the postseason following a swing change.
On Wednesday, MLB super agent, Scott Boras, spoke about Bellinger’s struggles and credited him for battling through and making himself available to the Dodgers. Bill Plunkett was among those to report.
Scott Boras on Cody Bellinger year: “He was injured. To Cody’s credit, he tried to play and the #Dodgers played him because he is a Gold Glove caliber player at two positions.”
Will be back to full strength in spring. “Learned a great deal about himself” last year
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) November 10, 2021
Bellinger was coming off of offseason shoulder surgery heading into spring training. He appeared in all of 10 games in spring training before the start of the season. He was quickly sidelined with a fractured leg that cost him nearly two months. Then there was a hamstring injury. By the time he finally got right physically, everything else swing-wise was all out of sorts.
So Boras’s assertion that Bellinger learned a lot about himself, by all accounts, seems extremely fair. Cody’s longest stretch of playing healthy saw him play 73 games without hitting the injured list. Over that stretch, he triple slashed just .142/.214/.283. It was enough to have the former rookie of the year and NL most valuable player search for answers and consider that swing change.
Will a full, normal offseason, the hope is that a version of Cody Bellinger that is closer to his MVP form over the iteration we saw last season will show up in 2022.