By the time the Los Angeles Dodgers reported to Camelback Ranch for the official start of 2022 Spring Training, several players were already in camp. The group included Cody Bellinger, who is looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2021 season.
The 2019 National League MVP struggled to stay on the field due to injuries and he batted .165/.240/.302 with nine doubles, 10 home runs and 36 RBI in 95 games. He overcame a fractured left fibula, hamstring trouble and non-displaced fracture in his left ribs to have a productive postseason.
Bellinger hit an excellent .353/.436/.471 with one double, one home run and seven RBI in 12 playoff games and now is looking to build on that success. “I feel very good. I feel stronger,” Bellinger said.
“I feel like the ball is jumping off the bat more so than it did last year. I’m feeling good. It’s going to be fun and good to get out there, get going again, get your feet wet and get this thing going.”
Despite the down year, Bellinger and the Dodgers worked out a new contract prior to the MLB lockout beginning by agreeing to a one-year, $17 million deal and avoiding arbitration.
Bellinger was encouraged by his late season turnaround and believes he can learn from his early struggles. “Towards the end I really dialed in what made my good and why I’m good. Just try to go from there and keep learning and adjusting,” Bellinger said.
“It was a grind last year, to say the least. But it’s in the past. Like I’ve said, it’s been a huge learning curve the past few years. As I’m hitting in batting practice right now, I feel good, I feel strong, feel compact. I focused a lot on my shoulder, a lot on stabilizing my body and getting it strong. I’m feeling good.”
Bellinger changed offseason routine
After battling multiple injuries last year, Bellinger changed his offseason routine and believes it will lead to improved health. “I think the injuries definitely helped me understand what I need to do to be healthy,” Bellinger said. “I focused a lot on my scaps for my shoulder. Scaps are a huge part of my shoulder mobility and strength.
“I learned a lot here in the last year when I was working out during the season. How to maintain your body and maintain your strength throughout the whole season. It was important for me. I feel like I’m going to be able to keep my strength the whole season.”
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