Superstar outfielder Mookie Betts could be activated from the 10-day IL as soon as this Thursday. His return is much needed, but it also could have a large impact on one of his fellow MVP teammates. Cody Bellinger.
Former Dodgers GM and current Sportsnet LA analyst Ned Colletti was asked on AM 570’s Dodger Talk if Bellinger is the “odd man out” once Betts returns.
“I think so. It’s been a struggle. The guys that can elevate a fastball, he’s struggled with. There’s no doubt about it. You’re going to need him to really get it going again, but you also have to figure out when to do that. You have only have thirty-some games to go. You’re trailing. You have to put your best team out there.”
Bellinger Not at His Best
Colletti also commented that you have to play your best players. For Colletti, and some Dodgers fans, Cody Bellinger doesn’t fall under that category right now.
“Selectively, I think you’ll see Cody in there to try to get him on track. The way Pollock has played, he’s one of the best hitters in the game for two months now. You can’t be sitting him down. We all know how valuable CT3 is. There’s going to be time for everybody, but you’re going to see the guys who are playing the best at the moment.”
The 2019 MVP hasn’t been anywhere close to his best this year. He missed the majority of April and May with injuries and also underwent offseason shoulder surgery. Now 66 games into his 2021, Bellinger is slashing .174/.258/.336 with a 64 wRC+ through Sunday. His 27.7% strikeout rate is the highest of his career.
Bellinger’s inability to find any rhythm at the plate may result in significantly reduced playing time during the stretch run.