Dodgers Analyst Has Tough Words for Cody Bellinger Amid Continued Struggles
Dodgers suffered a brutal loss last night at the hands of their division rival San Diego Padres, 7-1. With the many things that went wrong last night, one thing stood out the most to Spectrum Sportsnet analyst Jerry Hairston Jr and it was Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger.
A fired up J Hair went off on the two-time NL All-Star.
I love @TheRealJHair attitude here, he’s 100% right Belli is way too talented to be playing like this pic.twitter.com/g2tG1IcxO9
— sad dodger fan (@dodgersontop) September 3, 2022
Focusing on Bellinger’s setup, the analyst pointed to the struggling outfielder’s setup and stance and how that may be the biggest source of his issues at the plate.
“…he’s not going to be able to hit like this. You can’t hit like this. You have that flat bat… You’re straight up, you’re not in an athletic position … he doesn’t put himself in a position to hit and he’s making it so hard on himself.”
The former big leauger also looked back at the changes Cody made in the box last year heading into the postseason. His bat angle and stance had changed and he ended up being one of the best hitters for the Dodgers last October.
Before we dive in further, here is more context of what Hairston Jr. was referring to on the broadcast.
I completely agree with @TheRealJHair that Cody Bellinger should get back to this. Hands lower, yet he could still crush the high fastball. pic.twitter.com/PCh5zeAe8M
— AwkwardEric (@DeTrinidadJames) September 3, 2022
You could sense the hurt in the former Dodger turned analyst for the team and real fans know the feeling. In the video, Hairston Jr. points out that having his bat ‘flat’ is the biggest reason for his struggles. He mentions that he’s not in an athletic position, and if he wasn’t such a great athlete he’ll be batting .100 at best.
Tough love from the former Dodger, but he’s right.
Jerry also goes on to say that he needs to go back to the same swing he had in the postseason, no matter how uncomfortable it may be. Bellinger in the postseason was the second best hitter behind Chris Taylor, hitting .353 with an OPS of .906.
Hairston Jr. got very emotional in the broadcast and even banged his fist on the table in the process. It’s very sad and frustrating to see the former MVP struggle so much in these past 3 seasons and you just hope that he figures it out for his sake and for the sake of the team.
The 2019 NL MVP has had his fair share of struggles since winning that award. The 2020 shortened season did not help as his batting average dipped 66 points from .306 to .239. And in the postseason only slashed .212/.316/.455 with a .770 OPS the year LA won the title.
This season Belli is slashing .202/.259/.388 with a .647 OPS and a 76 OPS+ (Average OPS+ is 100).
I hope Bellinger figures it out in time for the postseason and I hope he ends up sticking with whatever works for him, no matter how uncomfortable it may be for him.
NEXT: Dave Roberts Talks Status of Bullpen, Kimbrel’s Job Security
Thank you Jerry Hairston for stating the facts on Belli….Belli needs to change for the team,for his daughter,for his girlfriend,for his father,for his mother,for his fans,for himself or he’ll be changing teams or changing his carrer!
You need to look at Muncy’s stats too. Compare it to Belli”s
Belli looks lost and afraid to make an out. He can’t even make a productive out and his presence in the lineup is hurting the team
What is really hurting the team is Dave Roberts showing Belli too much patience. DR is like that. He showed Jansen unfathomable patience when he struggled, until he finally let Urias win the world series. DR is doing the same thing with Kimbrel and now Belli. I think someone needs to sit DR down and yeah him how to make the tough decision.
Robert’s patience with guys such as Justin Turner, Lux, Muncy, and Jansen has paid off, but Bellinger has been living on the first 165 ABs of 2019 for 3 years now, he has been poor offensively ever since, has overall extremely poor career post-season numbers, and his defensive metrics expose the myth that he is elite defensively in CF.
Yes, Belli has been given an a long runway since his MVP season to get right. I’m sure that he’s has plenty of time with the hitting coaches and in the cage. Sitting him probably won’t help him at the plate, so sitting him for the good of the team seems to make sense. Any thoughts?
For the last three years Bellinger has a BA below .200. That’s not a slump. At some point you are what your record says you are. JHair is right, Bellinger is the best defensive CF in baseball but that won’t be good enough in the playoffs. Besides, Thompson isn’t chopped liver out there.
bellinger has hit many balls hard into the shift …his average would be alot higher if those balls were hits…normally they would be.. but the shift is his nemesis…gets him 9 outta 10 times
I would not be surprised if Belli was traded over the off season. He is a free agent after next year. I can’t the Dodgers signing him, much like what they did with Pederson. Great outfielder but people thought that about Joc too.
I have watched Bellinger’s stance for a long time, just like all of us. It looks so stiff, unnatural and uncomfortable for a guy and it’s confounding that the hitting coaches haven’t addressed his position at the plate. I used to think his stance was because he’s tall and lanky, but watching a guy like TT, also tall and lanky but can spray the ball anywhere and with power, disproves that. Hey, DR, maybe you should let Trea give Belli some batting instructions! And, RIP, Vinny – we miss you so much.
Do away with the shift and you have a different Bellinger at the plate. But you can also say that about a lot of hitters. Get him to stop trying for the HR and use the shift to his advantage. Choke up on the bat. Punch the ball to the opposite field. We need him on base not in the dugout. Every time he gets a single he is a potential steal threat and a runner in scoring position. Get his batting coach(s) to use his potential to his and the Dodgers advantage.
He WILL be DFA’d after this year.
Get rid of Bellinger and Muncy!!!?
Someone below said Trea should coach Belli. I say Freeman. He is a professional hitter who doesn’t feel obligated to try to kill ever pitch, like Belli seems to try to do. Taylor has the same problem. Trea should work with him instead.
Agree- Belli should emulate Freeman, freeman is an unselfish artist of hitting.
I was thinking that a Bellinger-to-the-Yankees for a starting pitcher, or for prospects would be advantageous for both clubs. Belli’s dad Clay was a champion with the Yanks.
Belli would be great again in New York with the short right field…
Lets face it, as much as we love these guys (Belli, Muncy and Taylor) they are offensive liabilities, esp going into the playoffs where the oppo pitching is much better and will know how to get them out. Belli looks lost, Taylor is almost a sure strikeout and Muncy seems to be regressing after a slight resurgence. They’re all starting today. Hope for the best but defensive versatility doesnt justify such poor offense. Lux and T.Thompson should be starting! Not sure yet where Gallo fits.
I have been a dodger fan for 65 years and am the grandmother of 2. I love bellinger but am seriously wondering why the batting Coach isn’t helping him with his stance. I do not see how he can get his bat around fast enough. His stance doesn’t even look real. The bat has to be toward him more and he has got to choke up on the bat. Defensively he is one of the best but that is not going to keep him with the dodgers. Again, while everyone is saying what players can help him not one person talks about the batting coach. I’m completely baffled and this is a woman talking.
Belli has plenty of time with coaches and fellow players to get right. DR said that he’s going with the ‘performers’. Makes sense to have your best on the playoff roster.
Chum. Needs a change of locations as in DBacks.
Jerry isn’t correct, but Belli’s hands and bat are the least of the problem. His biggest problem is that downward head movement into the ball. When he hit in the post season and early this year, he widened his stance. If he only did this, he would hit more consistently. He just needs to minimize that head movement. It’s really that simple, and it’s worked when he did it before.
So agree!! To me, the way he jerks his head/shoulders can’t make it easy to keep his eyes on the ball, let alone swing in a plane that connects well.
Belli is quite frankly, out of runaway. It comes down to executing, and he hasn’t and he won’t while on the Dodgers. He will do better on a contending club where he will not be expected to reproduce 2019 production.
I’m sure the batting coaches are trying to help him, but it looks like Belli’s ego is just too big for him to try something different. Gotta have his defense in the lineup, but if he refuses to work with the batting coaches, send him down to AAA until the playoffs.
It’s funny that when he does good no one says a thing, but once he’s not doing so good you jump down his throat. He should ask to be traded to the Blue Jay’s and get away from the United States. All the Americans I’ve met are arrogant and think they’re better than everyone else.
Time to say goodbye~ his swings are not even close! As much as I wished that he’d come around- I would bring back Outman. Not impressed with our coach either!
Aint for nothin to do with his stance. Its hard to hit 95mph when you wake and bake