Dodgers Announce That Cody Bellinger Will Exclusively Play Outfield
Just an hour or so before the Dodgers home game vs. the Atlanta Braves, it was reported by Ken Gurnick that the Dodgers plan to use Cody Bellinger exclusively as an outfielder.
Cody Bellinger back in lineup, but Dave Roberts said he will stay in outfield for now. He reinjured shoulder Friday night diving for ball playing first base.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) May 6, 2019
Shouldering All the Weight
The reasons behind this are pretty clear. Cody’s shoulder took a beating diving for a ball the other day in San Diego. The Dodgers believe his shoulder should be less of an issue in the outfield. Beyond that, the Dodgers have two players who cover 1st in Max Muncy and David Freese. Advanced metrics like Cody Bellinger as an outfielder, as well. UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating) have him at an impressive 3.7 already in 2019.
Dave Roberts on Cody’s injury and subsequent move to the outfield said,
“It’s happened a couple of times, but Cody said he feels good. I do think, going forward, him being an outfielder makes the most sense. Being at first base, a potential dive, we’ll see how that goes as time goes by.”
The Eye Test
The eye test has always liked Cody Bellinger at first, and in the outfield. Fans remember multiple times he has covered a lot of ground to make impressive catches. Dodger fans know he has an absolute cannon for an arm in the outfield, as well. With A.J. Pollock out for at least 6 weeks, Cody Bellinger as a full-time outfielder is probably the best move.
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Bellinger, careful of outfield walls, railings, fences, etc. I know these have padding, but still they don’t move when you run into them! I remember at Pittsburgh(PNC Park) when Bellinger was positioned in the OF, he rolled his ankle. With Pollock’s staph infection(elbow), it makes sense, but IMO I prefer him at 1B. In a close game, Muncy at 1B makes me queasy!
Robin , in 2017 when Bellinger rolled his ankle, they were in Detroit, playing the Tigers in an inter league game. I also recall that many fans were furious about that because they had put Cody in RF to accommodate the return of Adrian Gonzalez to the lineup and of course he could only play 1st.
As long as Bellinger keeps following through with those shoulder strengthening exercises he should not have any more issues, hopefully.