Don’t look now, but Cody Bellinger has been on the offensive wrestling bus longer than you might think. During the season, his batting average dropped to 0.168 after a 0-4 afternoon in Colorado. As of May 21, 2019 – the last day his average was over 0.400 in his powerful MVP season – the slugger has 176 hits in 736 batters. That’s an average of 0.239.
One of the main differences for Dave Roberts? At the time, Belli was more of a “hit collector” than a puncher. Additionally, ahead of Sunday afternoon’s overtime loss in Colorado, Doc was asked about Cody’s prolonged struggles since that first half of another world of 2019 where the numbers are just not the same.
The game is not easy. He works tirelessly… he just tries to compete. Really… I don’t have an answer. I wish I did. I understand the question, it’s very fair… The defense was at the next level. As far as the offense goes – I’m not trying to dodge the question – that high fastball sometimes gets it. I still think he controls the zone really well, it’s just when he gets shots in the zone he has to move them forward.
Naturally, that was a nuanced start to a response from a manager who avoids throwing his players under a bus – or even a Geo Metro – at all costs. Most. But reading between the lines of the answer, it looks like the Dodgers really are just simply lost when it comes to Cody Bellinger’s struggles.
Related: What’s Wrong With Cody Bellinger’s Swing In 2021?
I think for me, for Cody, when he was really good in 2019 he was a hitter first and the slug followed. He was using left center, he was using midfield, right center pitch. And then smash balls in the area, he would hit them on the pull side. If he could go back to being a hits collector, using both loopholes. I think this is a good start. But the game is not easy, hitting is not easy. But I expect it to come to this point.
In 2020, Bellinger played and tinkered with his swing for most of the shortened 60-game season. In 2021, he only played 37 of 94 games as he suffered from a broken leg and hamstring injury that kept him sidelined for most of the season. . Plus, shoulder surgery in the offseason kept him from swinging a bat for good until mid-spring practice.
Cody Bellinger vs. Fastballs:
2017: .263 BA, .547 SLG
2018: .268 BA, .517 SLG
2019: .327 BA, .661 SLG
2020: .236 BA, .358 SLG
2021: .155 BA, .366 SLG
Cody looks lost at sea right now, I really hope he finds him soon. #Dodgers
– Doug McKain (@DMAC_LA) July 18, 2021
It could be that the myriad of illnesses still have the 26-year-old searching for his timing. Thankfully, with the second half of the season just getting underway, there is still plenty of 2021 left. A 1-12 start certainly doesn’t help, but the return to Dodger Stadium where he has a career .257 batting average (and 0.875 OPS) can start to point it in the right direction.
The Dodgers again welcome the Giants for 4 and the Rockies for 3.
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