The rise and fall of former Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger was one for the ages. The 2019 National League MVP was a major part of the team’s success over the last few seasons, but it was time for a change this offseason.
Bellinger and the Dodgers both need a change, and it has seemed to work out well. The Dodgers are currently in the running for the best records in the National League, and Bellinger has seemingly revitalized his career with the Chicago Cubs.
However, it’s easy to look back and see what went wrong. After winning the 2019 NL MVP, Bellinger never could regain his form. We saw flashes of brilliance, but the consistency just wasn’t there.
Bellinger recently admitted that some of the struggles that he had during his time in Los Angeles were due to rushing back from injury.
“I came back as soon as possible from it, not knowing anything,” Bellinger told ESPN. “I never dealt with an injury. I never thought how surgery would really affect me. Didn’t even know that it did until later on in that year (2021) when I did some one-hand drills. I was like, ‘I had no idea where anything [with the shoulder] is right now.'”Per ESPN.com
He also spoke about how the baseball lockout affected things for him. It caused him to be forced to go against what he wanted to do in his rehab.
“Then we had a lockout and I couldn’t work with people that I wanted to work with,” Bellinger said. “I never got to get back to who I was until this offseason.”Per ESPN.com
The injuries did cause some problems for Bellinger and were a reason why the team decided to finally let him go. But it seems like he is finally healthy again, and it’s showing in his on-field success.
For the season, Bellinger is hitting .321 with 20 home runs and 75 runs batted in. He has been one of the biggest pieces to the success of the Cubs this season, and it has been great to see.
Both the Cubs and Bellinger have been major surprises this season. But that is the beauty of baseball, you never really know what will happen.
“Bellinger, finally healthy, has found his stroke again in Chicago. He has been so good the surprising Cubs elected not to deal him at the trade deadline despite some high-profile suitors — and instead he has become the face of an unlikely contender.”Per ESPN.com
Hopefully, Bellinger can continue his production as the season winds down. He will be a free agent at the end of the season and does have a mutual option with Chicago. But after this effective year, he will likely decline that and will be in long for a massive payday this winter.
Photo Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
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