Cody Bellinger was removed in the fourth inning of Monday’s series opener with the Cincinnati Reds. He was hit by a 96 mph fastball on the right knee and initially remained in the game after walking gingerly to first base.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and a member of the training staff rushed onto the field to check on Bellinger, who understandably appeared to be in a considerable amount of pain. Even after staying in the game, Bellinger moved around uncomfortably at first base.
The third inning ended when Max Muncy struck out swinging, stranding a pair of runners. Bellinger was responsible for the Dodgers’ only run at the time he was replaced by Alex Verdugo, with his ground-rule RBI double cutting their 2-0 deficit in half in the first inning.
Bellinger presumably will undergo testing on his knee, much like Corey Seager last week after he took a pitch off his hamstring that also led to an early exit.
But whereas Seager has dealt with some inconsistency as he works to get into a rhythm, Bellinger has been one of the game’s best hitters. His 22 RBI through the first 16 games of a season put him alone in the Dodgers record books and further added to an impressive start.
Bellinger was named National League Player of the Week for the period of March 31 to April 7. He went 13-for-29 with 13 runs scored, two doubles, one triple, four home runs, 11 RBI and hit .448/.484/1.000 during that stretch.
It was a third time Bellinger received Player of the Week honors, but the first since his Rookie of the Year season.