Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Cody Bellinger has been perhaps the best hitter in all of baseball to begin the season, evident by his leading the National League in batting average, home runs, RBI and runs scored entering play Monday.
Bellinger got off to a good start in the series opener against the Cincinnati Reds, hitting an RBI ground-rule double in the first inning to cut the Dodgers’ deficit in half.
He then stepped to the plate in the bottom of the third inning for his second at-bat, and he was plunked by a 96 mph fastball on the right knee. Bellinger was in obvious pain after being hit, but he was able to walk it off enough to be able to stay in the game and take first base.
Still moving gingerly, however, he was replaced by Alex Verdugo in right field the next half inning. After the game, the Dodgers received good news as the X-rays came back negative and Bellinger is just dealing with a bruise, per Alanna Rizzo of SportsNet LA:
Bellinger x-rays on his knee are negative. Hit him flush on his knee but it’s not broken. Roberts said this was best case scenario.
— Alanna Rizzo (@alannarizzo) April 16, 2019
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts would not say whether or not Bellinger would be in the lineup on Tuesday, but it would not be surprising if he got a night off to rest the knee and get back to 100%.
Bellinger has been the team’s primary contributor on offense to begin the season, but his teammates were able to finish the job on Monday as Joc Pederson hit a two-run walk-off home run to give them a 4-3 win over the Reds.