The return! Dodgers’ rookie first baseman, Cody Bellinger has been activated from the DL after missing 9 games due to an ankle injury.
The Dodgers offense has sputtered while Bellinger has been off the field going 4-5 in the last 9 games and dropping their first series since June 7th. The club is currently in the middle of a three game losing streak, another first since June.
Bellinger’s return gives Dodger fans hope of avoiding their first 4-game losing streak of the season. With Bellinger in the lineup, the Dodgers are 78-23 which translate to a .772 winning percentage, which is by far the best in the big leagues.
Bellinger was on the DL after suffering a freakish injury in a game against the Detroit Tigers while chasing down a fly ball out in right field. Bellinger played in a rehab game last night in the Arizona League and hit a mammoth three-run home run.
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Bellinger has told multiple reporters he feels 100 percent and he could have played through the injury if the Dodgers didn’t have such a wide gap in the division. Truth is with an 18 game lead in the division there was no point in risking further injury to the Dodgers’ biggest power hitter. Also with Adrian Gonzalez back from the DL, Cody was likely to see more days off than he had been during the season.
Bellinger returns to the lineup against his home town Arizona Diamondbacks and is at first base and hitting cleanup for the Dodgers. He’ll be facing left-hander Robbie Ray for the first time this season.
As a corresponding move, the Dodgers sent down Kyle Farmer to Triple-A Oklahoma City. Farmer will not be in Oklahoma City that long with roster expansions coming within the next two days, and he figures to be one of the first players called-up to the big leagues for the remainder of the season.
The move is a good sign of things to come for the Dodgers. The club just recently got Yu Darvish back from the DL and later this week expects to activate Clayton Kershaw (Friday) and Alex Wood (Sunday). The club is just about getting healthy at the right time.
I say “just about” because Corey Seager did not start last night’s game and isn’t starting tonight due to a sore elbow. Seager did make a pinch-hit appearance in the 9th inning last night but grounded out to end his 15-game hitting streak. The plan for Seager is to limit him to pinch-hitting appearances and rest his throwing arm for the next couple of days.
Unfortauntely we’re going to have to wait and see what a full 100 percent healthy Dodger lineup looks like. But adding Bellinger back into the cleanup spot certainly helps the Dodgers power numbers. Look for Turner to get going now that he has Bellinger’s protection behind him. Over his last seven games, Turner has been hitting .167 without Bellinger hitting behind him. Bellinger will look to change that with his big bat presence.