The Los Angeles Dodgers played under the lights for the first time in their 2018 Cactus League schedule, and did so with a lineup that’s likely to resemble what’s seen during the regular season.
In the heart of it was Cody Bellinger, who faces the challenge of meeting expectations that were set with a wildly successful Rookie of the Year season. While the possibility of a proverbial sophomore slump hovers, the 22-year-old isn’t overly concerned by it.
Thursday’s game against the Cleveland Indians was Bellinger’s sixth of the spring. He entered without a home run and only two doubles to show for as extra-base hits.
But that change in the second inning, as Bellinger turned on the first pitch he saw from Indians starter Josh Tomlin. The ball nearly carried out of Goodyear Ballpark and was one of the few highlights on the night for the Dodgers.
While Bellinger has yet to show the power that was on full display last season when he broke multiple home-run records, the young first baseman is 10-for-17 with four RBI and four walks in Cactus League play.
This season could be different for Bellinger in that he may have a resurgent Matt Kemp hitting back of him in the lineup. And with Bellinger protecting Justin Turner, the Dodgers lineup figures to be as deep and productive in 2018 as it was last season.