After initially managing to play through a left rib fracture, Cody Bellinger was scratched from the lineup in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ final game against the Cincinnati Reds and subsequently placed on the 10-day injured list.
The 26-year-old sustained the injury last week upon a minor collision with Gavin Lux in left-center field during a matchup with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Bellinger’s IL stint is retroactive to Sept. 18, which makes Tuesday, the earliest he can be activated. While a timeline wasn’t offered on when he may return, Bellinger is slowly making progress and could start swinging a bat this weekend.
“I think he should continue to move around, which he is, keep his body active as much as possible,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts answered when asked if Bellinger will resume baseball activities in the coming days.
“Hopefully as we get to the weekend, he’s swinging the bat again and if we can, get him to CBR to take some at-bats, that would be helpful. Each day is getting a little bit better.”
The first step could come Saturday, when Bellinger is expected to participate in batting practice at Chase Field.
Bellinger previously spent time on the IL this year and missed 46 games because of a hairline fracture in his left fibula. He additionally was sidelined for another 10 contests as a result of left hamstring tightness.
Prior to his latest IL stint, Bellinger had been getting regular playing time again due to the absence of AJ Pollock. Bellinger’s offensive struggles continued, however, as he is batting .073/.174/.122 with two doubles and two RBI in 46 plate appearances this month.
For the season, Bellinger is hitting just .159/.237/.291 with 20 extra-base hits and 34 RBI across 337 trips to the plate over 89 games.
Turner noticed a more ‘confident’ Bellinger
Before injuring his ribs, Justin Turner saw a more composed Bellinger in the batter’s box. “That’s just it: the confidence. When hits start falling, you just feel better about it,” Turner said of Bellinger’s recent plate appearances.
“It’s one thing to hit balls hard and keep getting out over and over again, and trying to stay positive. Once you start actually seeing results, it really helps you take that next step forward.
“I told him the luck is kind of turning around for him. He’s been extremely unlucky, hitting a lot of balls hard right at people. He gets a dropped pop-up by the catcher, and next pitch, it’s a double.
“That’s huge for us. He’s going to be a big bat and the way he plays Gold Glove in center field, obviously we want him in the lineup every day.”
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