Los Angeles Dodgers top prospect Cody Bellinger received a call-up for his MLB debut earlier than expected this season, and he has made the most of it. After his first full week with the team, Bellinger was named National League Player of the Week.
The prolific production received from Bellinger has been much-needed for the Dodgers, as the team has dealt with injuries to multiple position players who are expected key contributors. Chief among them is Adrian Gonzalez.
The veteran first baseman was recently placed on the disabled list for the first time in his 14-year career. It was a course of action made easier by Bellinger’s presence.
Prior to Andrew Toles suffering an ACL injury, which in some regard paved the way for the Dodgers to eventually have Bellinger and Gonzalez in the same lineup, the 21-year-old prospect was already looking forward to that possibility, via Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times:
“A healthy Adrian Gonzalez is scary for opposing pitchers. He’s been butter-and-eggs for how many years? He’s a consistent at-bat, every time. Him and I in the lineup could be fun.”
Although Bellinger’s natural position is first base, he exclusively played left field upon joining the Dodgers. It’s where he’ll largely remain in the wake of Toles’ season-ending injury.
Gonzalez was hitting just .255/.327/.309, and was without a home run in 94 at-bats this season. His lone extra-base hits were five doubles.
Through 21 games (20 starts) with the Dodgers, Bellinger is batting .308/.379/.667 with five doubles, one triple, seven home runs and 19 RBI. He’s tied with Yasiel Puig for the team lead in homers.
Having Bellinger and Gonzalez in the same lineup may come sooner rather than later. Gonzalez appeared in two rehab games with High-A Rancho Cucamonga, and was activated from the disabled list on Thursday.