Dodgers: Kiké Hernandez working out with Bellinger, willing to play in bubble

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 02: Cody Bellinger #35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates with Kike Hernandez #14 after hitting a grand slam against the San Francisco Giants during the third inning at Dodger Stadium on April 02, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 02: Cody Bellinger #35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates with Kike Hernandez #14 after hitting a grand slam against the San Francisco Giants during the third inning at Dodger Stadium on April 02, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images) /
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Dodgers utility player Kiké Hernandez is keeping in shape with teammate Cody Bellinger, prepared to play in 2020 whatever the circumstances.

Dodgers infielder Kiké Hernandez has been working out with teammate Cody Bellinger twice per week in a batting cage while waiting for the 2020 season to commence, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Dodger teammates are also training with Dodgers co-hitting coach Brant Brown and Texas Rangers catcher Blake Swihart. The group has access to a batting cage facility because Swihart is friendly with the owner.

2020 represents a critical season for Hernandez. The 28-year-old is eligible to become a free agent next winter. He avoided arbitration this past offseason when he signed a one-year, $5.9 million deal with the Dodgers. With Gavin Lux expected to take the majority of reps at second base, Hernandez will sprinkle his time throughout the diamond, potentially acting as a right-handed platoon player for Lux.

Hernandez powered his way through the shortened Spring Training, with three home runs in 30 at bats. He batted .300 overall, with a .667 slugging percentage. His improvement at the plate could be credited to a mechanical adjustment he made in his swing. He was working on controlling his hips from flying open.

Last season for the Dodgers, Hernandez appeared in 130 games, playing all over the field, from second base to center field to shortstop. He is a valuable utility piece for manager Dave Roberts bench.

Meanwhile, Cody Bellinger is coming off one of the greatest individual seasons in Dodger history. He won the National League MVP Award last year. If baseball returns in 2020, he will man the outfield with newly-acquired superstar Mookie Betts. To accommodate Betts, Bellinger is expected to move over to center field after winning the Gold Glove Award in right in 2019.

You can start to see the dividing line among players who are willing to play in MLB’s proposed “Arizona plan” that would require everyone to be quarantined away from their family to play the 2020 season sequestered in one state. Players with money on the line, like Kike, or without kids, seem more willing to play under the circumstances.

“I think that’s going to be a little harder on my wife just sitting here at the house by herself,” Hernandez told the Los Angeles Times. “The way I think about it is people got a lot worse and they don’t get millions of dollars to do it.”

As states begin to ease coronavirus restrictions, it will be interesting to see how MLB reacts in the coming weeks.

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