The Los Angeles Dodgers reinstated Cody Bellinger from the 10-day injured list and optioned Andy Burns to Triple-A Oklahoma City prior to the series finale against the San Diego Padres.
Bellinger returns one day after he was eligible to come off the IL. His stint technically began June 15, but was backdated to the Saturday prior. Bellinger missed a total of 10 games, with the Dodgers going 6-4 during that span.
Most of Bellinger’s absence coincided with the Dodgers also being without Max Muncy as he recovered from a minor oblique strain. Muncy was reinstated Tuesday — his first day eligible — and went 0-for-2 with two walks in the 3-2 loss to the Padres.
Bellinger’s season has twice been interrupted by injury as he previously missed a stretch of 46 games due to a hairline fracture in his left fibula. There also was a delayed start to Spring Training due to recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.
For Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, that has all been a factor in Bellinger yet to gain much traction at the plate. He returns from the IL batting .226/.324/.323 with one double, one home run and 10 RBI in only 16 games.
Roberts also acknowledged a shortened rehab assignment with Triple-A Oklahoma City is partly to blame as well, but the Dodgers needed Bellinger’s presence in center field and the lineup.
“I think he’s handled it really well. Obviously there’s got to be some frustration in there because there’s been the start and stop,” Roberts said. “There’s still a lot of baseball for him to put together a really nice season and help us win baseball games.
“I know he knows that, but I do think part of the inconsistencies of Spring Training, to then coming back, having a five- or six-day rehab assignment, to not get untracked offensively, it’s been part of that.”
Burns made history with Dodgers
L.A. selected the contract of Burns earlier this month and he went on to make Dodgers franchise history by getting a hit and pitching in his first game with the team. Burns’ time with the Dodgers marked a return to the Majors since last playing for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2016.
Burns went 3-for-11 with three walks over eight games.
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