Dodgers Adjusted Plan To Give Cody Bellinger ‘Recovery’ And ‘Work Day’

When the Los Angeles Dodgers activated Cody Bellinger off the 10-day injured list during the San Francisco Giants series, manager Dave Roberts outlined a plan to play him in all five games leading into the club’s travel day on Thursday.

One of Bellinger’s starts was to come at first base as a means of the Dodgers easing him back into playing every day. However, the club wound up changing course as the 2019 National League MVP was not in the lineup Tuesday.

“I just felt that in talking to the training staff and managing him, I wanted to get Albert in there one of these games,” Roberts explained. “So there wasn’t an opportunity to play first base.”

In addition to giving Bellinger an opportunity to get his legs under him, the night off — which wound up including a pinch-hit appearance and playing the field in the late innings — was also to continue working through establishing a feel at the plate.

“Cody is all-in on taking today after playing three in a row, managing workload, work through some things mechanically, make it a work day and recovery day,” Roberts said. “He’ll be in there [Wednesday] and the expectation is to play three in Atlanta. He’ll kind of have his footing at that point.”

Bellinger unveiled a new batting stance during a shortened Spring Training and only played in four games prior to suffering the hairline fracture, leaving little time. He is hitless with three walks and three runs scored in 14 plate appearances since returning.

“Again, we look back at what he did to prepare for the season, it was an abbreviated Spring Training and then four games into the season he gets hurt. So as far as game at-bats, he hasn’t had them, so just continue to get the work in,” Roberts said.

“We all know that he impacts us if he’s in the lineup, and certainly he’s already shown that on the defensive side. So it’s just kind of continue to work and be ready to go [Wednesday].”

Bellinger not concerned with swing

Upon being reinstated, Bellinger downplayed how much time would be needed to find his rhythm at the plate. “I’ve been able to hit for a while now,” Bellinger noted.

“I’ve been swinging for a long time. It was more just can I go with the up and down of innings, to make sure my hammies, my quads, my hips are all good and can handle back-to-back games. My body is feeling really good. … It’s been feeling really good.

“Like I said, I’ve been able to swing since two weeks from the injury. For me personally, that part of it I wasn’t too worried about. I knew once my body was able to feel good after consecutive games that I was ready to roll.”

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