UPDATE (Aug. 22, 3:50 p.m. PT): The Los Angeles Dodgers placed Cody Bellinger on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to Aug. 20, with a sprained right ankle.
While it goes against Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts’ mantra and the team’s daily focus, fact of the matter is there is little to play for at this stage in the season. The Dodgers are well on their way to a fifth consecutive National League West title, and should secure the best overall record as well.
The success has afforded them the luxury of being able to err on the side of caution with players who suffer some form of injury, no matter how minor. It’s recently applied to Yu Darvish and Clayton Kershaw, and Cody Bellinger may soon join the group.
He suffered mild ankle sprain during the sixth inning of last Saturday’s game against the Detroit Tigers. Bellinger’s right foot appeared to get caught in the ground and roll over as he went to make a leaping catch on the warning track.
The 22-year-old rookie participated in batting practice Tuesday and said pain was not an issue, via David Vassegh of AM 570 L.A. Sports Radio:
Cody Bellinger took BP in batting cage today. Told me no pain in his right ankle. #Dodgers
— David Vassegh (@THEREAL_DV) August 22, 2017
However, Roberts nonetheless said the Dodgers are likely to put Bellinger on the 10-day disabled list, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
Bellinger improving but still swelling in ankle. Won't start tomorrow and now leaning toward DL.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) August 22, 2017
A decision would need to come sooner rather than later in order to take advantage of days available to make the stint retroactive.
Bellinger and Roberts downplayed the injury, and Roberts deemed his rookie slugger available to pinch-hit in the series finale against the Tigers. The same was also said to hold true in Monday’s game with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Bellinger did appear in the on-deck circle to pinch-hit during the 12th inning, though was called back in favor of Kenta Maeda with the bases empty and two outs. Prior to sitting against the Tigers, Bellinger had appeared in all 101 games since making his MLB debut on April 25.
On the year he’s batting .274/.356/.612 with 19 doubles, two triples, 34 home runs, 79 RBI, a .393 wOBA and 146 wRC+. The Dodgers are well-positioned to sustain a brief stretch without Bellinger, as Adrian Gonzalez returned over the weekend.