The Los Angeles Dodgers have followed a similar blueprint for each of their top prospects over recent seasons. Julio Urias broke the mold in 2016, when injuries forced the club’s hand in calling him up from Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Urias was held back this season as a means of limiting his workload, though the young left-hander is expected to join and start for the Dodgers in Thursday’s series finale against the San Francisco Giants. In a surprise decision, Urias may not be alone in coming up from Oklahoma City.
According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, the Dodgers are poised to call up Cody Bellinger, the organization’s top position-player prospect:
Source: Cody Bellinger is being called up by Dodgers.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) April 25, 2017
Bellinger, who has experience at first base and in the outfield, will primarily play left field and center field for the Dodgers, per Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times:
Bellinger is coming up to play the outfield. He'll rotate between LF and CF with Joc Pederson on the DL.
— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) April 25, 2017
Bellinger batted .343/.429/.627 with four doubles, five home runs and 15 RBI over 18 games this season with Oklahoma City. He did not appear in Tuesday’s game for OKC.
Bellinger hit .271/.365/.507 with 17 doubles, 26 home runs and 71 RBI in 117 games last season during time spent with Double-A Tulsa and OKC. He struggled in the spring, batting .207/.294/.345 with two doubles, two home runs and 10 RBI. However, he did strike out 20 times in 30 games.
In order to add Bellinger to the active roster the Dodgers would need to make a corresponding move to create room on their 40-man roster as well. A likely answer to that would be transferring Andre Ethier to the 60-day disabled list. Ethier has yet to resume baseball activities as he recovers from a hip injury.