This season has been a wild year for Cody Bellinger. Coming off of a shoulder surgery during the offseason, the Dodgers knew it would take him some time to get 100 percent right. That proved to take much longer than anticipated after a break in his leg followed by a hamstring injury when he finally returned.
But it was the shoulder that clearly appeared to be an issue at most points this year when he was in games. Bellinger was late to almost every fastball that he saw, especially ones up in the zone. The strength was missing, and so was the bat speed. The Dodgers outfielder noticed.
Speaking with The Athletic this weekend, Bellinger discussed the shoulder that has been an issue for most of the year. Belli didn’t want to use it as an excuse for poor performance, but it’s tough to ignore the lack of strength.
It hit me later on. It’s not an excuse. It’s just reality. I lost strength. My shoulder wasn’t as mobile as it was. I thought it was an excuse, that I’m the same guy, but no, it’s reality. My shoulder was tight. My leg was broken… but I’m there. I’m feeling good.
But the good news is that the Dodgers superstar appears to be turning a corner. Bellinger has gone deep 4 times in the month of August and is OPSing .977 through 11 games played. That’s a significant improvement from his overall numbers in 2021.
But Bellinger isn’t letting the last few months hold him back. Instead, he’s moving forward with the improvements.
[expletive] happens. I’m not mad that it happened. I’m not thinking that if this didn’t happen, I wouldn’t be having a [expletive] year. Like no, it doesn’t affect me. All I can do is just continue to move forward. I have peace of mind. I can go and compete now.
If the Dodgers can get even a sliver of the production that they’re used to from Bellinger, it’s going to be tough to stop their offense. Especially with him hitting even further down in the lineup than we’re used to.