Los Angeles Dodgers top prospect Cody Bellinger has turned heads in his short time with the team and made it nearly impossible to be optioned back to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
When Bellinger was called up for his MLB debut he was viewed as a temporary replacement until Franklin Gutierrez or Joc Pederson returned from the disabled list. The hot start earned the 21-year-old more time int he Majors.
It also played a factor in Adrian Gonzalez approaching the Dodgers to initiate a conversation about going on the DL. That move has cleared the way for Bellinger to play first base, his natural position.
Throughout Bellinger’s time with the Dodgers, manager Dave Roberts has remained noncommittal over how long the organization’s top prospect would be with the club.
Even with Gonzalez going on the DL without a target date to return or timeline in place, Roberts would not commit to Bellinger being in the Majors for the duration of this season, via Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times:
“As far as his immediate future here, it’s more of a day-to-day, week-to-week thing,” Roberts said. “As we get guys coming back, we’ll make those decisions.”
Bellinger enters play Monday batting .357/.413/.786 with five home runs and 14 RBIs in 11 games. At minimum, he’ll presumably stick with the Dodgers until May 15, which is the earliest Gonzalez can be reinstated.
Roberts previously remarked he does not subscribe to the practice of an everyday player who gets injured, returning without a roster spot.