Dodgers: How Patient Can We Be With Cody Bellinger?

Cody Bellinger Spring Training numbers are turning heads, and for all the wrong reasons. Through Tuesday, the lefty slugger has logged 17 strikeouts in 24 at-bats in Cactus League play. In a recent interview with reporters, Bellinger stated that he “feeling better despite what the results are saying” and joked that he’s getting his “punchies out of the way early”.

For some Dodgers fans, the joke wasn’t exactly reassuring.

Last year, Bellinger slashed .165/.240/.302 and played in only 95 games due to various injuries. Including a leg injury suffered in the Dodgers second series of the season. In short, it was the season from hell. It also came in the wake of an underwhelming 2020. Belli posted a .789 OPS in the year following his 2019 NL MVP season.

In a statistic that his pointed to often when discussing Bellinger’s offensive woes, the left-handed hitter is slashing .216/.308/.421 in his last 219 games (876 PAs). That encompasses the second half of his MVP season in 2019 through the entire 2021 season.

It all begs the question: how patient should Dodgers fans be with Cody Bellinger this season?

First off, this isn’t a team that is going to go into a tailspin if its former MVP, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger outfielder is still adrift offensively in April and May. In fact, the Dodgers, and Bellinger, have the luxury of having two other league MVPs in the lineup plus a slew of of All-Stars to pick up the slack. Secondly, Bellinger is still plus-defender who can play both center field and right field. 

Yes, he has flirted with the Mendoza line for multiple seasons now. Statistically, he was the second worst hitter in baseball by WAR, OBP, and wRC+ (min. 350 PAs) last season, but the 26-year-old still has an immense talent ceiling – both defensively and offensively.

The Dodgers, nor fans, can wait forever, but he’s earned at least the first half of this season to prove that he can at least be a serviceable hitter. 

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Dodgers Rotation Barely Cracks the Top 10 in MLB

Eric Eulau

Born and raised in Ventura, not "Ven-CH-ura", California. Favorite Dodger Stadium food is the old school chocolate malt with the wooden spoon. Host of the Dodgers Nation 3 Up, 3 Down Podcast.


  1. You are so wrong, Eric. Cody is a mess and he doesn’t deserve a place on the in the lineup or bench the way he is nonperforming AGAIN. he should be sent to the minor till he figure out how to get RID of the PUNCHIES !

  2. Enough already, the man is done, he is completely useless at the plate, they should have kept Beaty and gotten rid of Mr. strikeout

  3. I would have kept Beatty, and tried to peddle Belli. He is still in the same non-performance mode he was in most of last year. I gave up a long time ago, and this Spring is just more of the same.

    1. he had surgery on his shoulder for player all out for his team , he is coming along , but remember he is still one of the top outfielders in the league, with out him in center field that would cause at two runs per game, as u remember they lost a key game without him in the out field , just alone for his defense he should b in the starting line up !!!

  4. I think Cody’s problems started in the second half of his MVP season. Look how his stats went south. It hasn’t been good since that time. I think the shoulder situation may be factor, but his stats were terrible before that. There is a fundamental problem here, but hard for me to have an opinion on what it is.

  5. Bellinger knows very well that if he continues to fail at the plate he will be traded or benched in favor of someone who will hit. My guess is he has 30-40 games to hit above .280 or bye bye.

  6. Dodgers need to move Belli down to the farm somewhere for remedial batting courses. Not wait until he sets K record. Losing a gold glove but gaining some production at the plate. Need that with the thin pitching rotation.
    Maybe Lux could try OF again. But Taylor the man now.

  7. Can ANYBODY please tell Bellinger to watch EVERY OTHER HITTER please? Are their heads still during the swing from beginning to end? The better the hitter the “stiller” the head is! Ted Williams wrote about this in his book. So WHY is Cody dropping his head 1-2 feet on EVERY swing? When he hit well-2019-his head was still.

  8. Bellinger doesn’t need to be what he was in MVP year. He needs to play Gold Glove defense and hit a little bit.

  9. He swings at every inside ball, then watches the down the middle balls go by, and then swings at low outside balls to save the at-bat. the perfect recipe for failure as a hitter.

  10. If he ever played for the “Evil Empire,” (yankees), he would have been benched, sent down to little league and if that did not work, RELEASED so long ago!! But thanks to Mr. Do-gooder (himself), Roberts doesn’t want to hurt his feelings

    1. I agree, as Llong Roberts Coach, he will play Bellinger. Just look at bad hitter he played all yea last year.

  11. Oh get real, we shouldn’t give Cody a half season more to get his offense together. If his struggles continue into April he should go down to AAA and figure it out. He’s making way too much money for this nonsense to continue.

    1. Let’s see. Shoulder surgery. They said he was not quite 100% at start of season. Then he broke his leg. Out 6 weeks. Came back early. Virtually no rehab. Broken legs change careers. Ask Tommy Davis. Then he had hamstring injury. Then he cracked a rib. All in less than 9 months. This guy was playing a professional sport. And was NEVER 100% Yep I wanted and expected him to start putting numbers up. He did in the post season! Give the guy a break. He will be back.

    2. That IS the problem. They are paying him Too Much ‘for nothing’. Pay for Performance. Not last years performance, the present years performance.

  12. Oh yeah…and Cody needs to keep his EYE ON THE BALL all the way from the pitcher’s hand to making (hopefully) contact with his bat! He does usually quit staring at the ball just before it would have made contact…duh!

    1. Cody is toast, he will not be a dodger next year. The only path for him right now is FO to,send him to minors for 2 months to redo his swing. If he is successful and can hit .275 in AAA, them bring him back up otherwise keep him down there . This will teach him discipline in his craft which he is ignoring.

      1. the dodgers are some crispy fried critters now. they cant stop spiraling out of control with every other move and thought process they make. id trade betts. but they wouldnt find any suckers to take him. i wonder how soft the lanes were when he bowled those 300s. yeah. if he was on the pro bowling tour he might not be that good. id trade his ass. he says all the right stuff but i get the feeling all he cares about is the betts brand and making a half billion dollars. i think hes too small and hes not going to be able to maintain it much longer. just cause moreno is a sucker now every other team that signs these guys to 10 year contracts into their late 30s become suckers too. now their gonna have to eat his contract and freemans contract and maybe treas too. after age 32 the body begins to rot. the best teams have guys in their 20s and a manager who doesnt suck the life out of the players. thats where the dodgers are now. theyre lost and delusional. like bellinger at the plate daydreaming about his power image mid swing. or lux believing hes great when the results say otherwise. the army mike solution is for belli to hit those linedrives and hit over 300. hes athletic enough to do that and play great defense driving in runs and getting on base to score more runs with his speed. and there is no other solution. and luxee . hes another softee in the head. wet behind the ears and a little green. lux has too much motion in his mechanics and thats fking with his accuracy at the plate. plus hes not fully commited. hes totally lackadaisical and half asses it all the time. he has some physical abilities like belli though so if he ever gets his ass in gear he might be able to play for real. pollock hits the ball because he goes straight for the ball. luxee doesnt hit the ball because hes stuck up for one, and hes got all that unnecessary motion at the dish. now if the dodgers had a real baseball guy like me they might win a few more. the guys at dodgers nation think i talk sht. but id kick some ass in the major leagues. no problem. when they first started the major leagues way way back, i was the kind of guy theyd dream about. theyd give a few guys those chances but alot of those guys would fail because they couldnt back it up. well i can because im the real deal.

      2. i get tired of clicking that x at the bottom of the screen every time i log on at dodgers nation. and if you ever want to pit your brains versus my brains at how to play winning baseball ,good luck.

  13. His stance which fundamentally he refuses to change makes him bob his head as he swings violently. If by chance he squares up on the ball he will hit it into the next zip code. But as this article shows with irrefutable stats he doesn’t square the ball up often. If you bob your head you can’t track the ball and will miss late breaks. Watch him in slo-mo he misses pitches with quality movement by a substantial distance. I think by this point he is an incredible talent and a head case. Dodgers fans must hope he listens to the hitting coaches. Nomar was talking about Bellingers swing last year and how his head movement was so detrimental. If someone as accomplished as Nomar tells you that and you are not succeeding you would think you would listen and change.

  14. DUH! Uh,,,Yeah! The hitting coaches ain’t doin their jobs so how about listening to sum of us fans, Cody?

  15. Most children playing in little league are more intelligent at the plate than bellyflop is.

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