New swing, same results for Dodgers star Cody Bellinger.
Los Angeles Dodgers superstar Cody Bellinger is back to doing Cody Bellinger things. After tinkering with his swing in summer camp, it was slow going during intra-squad games for the reigning MVP. Facing real competition for the first time on Sunday, Bellinger quickly quieted any doubts of whether his new swing can still get the job done.
After Mookie Betts and Max Muncy drew walks, and Justin Turner reached on an infield hit, Bellinger stepped into the batter’s box and cleared the bases. His grand slam off Taylor Widener gave the Dodgers a 4-1 lead in the first inning of an exhibition game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The home run landed in the empty seats of the right field stands after traveling 369 feet with an exit velocity of 101.7 MPH, per Statcast data.
Cody Bellinger has altered his swing since returning for summer camp.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters last week that Bellinger didn’t feel comfortable with his swing after finishing the second half of last season below his incredibly high standards. After the All-Star Break, his batting average dropped from .336 to .263, and he also saw declines in his on-base and slugging percentages.
Over the course of a 60-game season this year, there won’t be much time for players to experiment with a new routine before the results start to stick. It’s a good sign to see Bellinger doing damage with his new swing early in exhibition play.
He decided to make the adjustment to his mechanics during the coronavirus shutdown. He had originally reported to Spring Training in Arizona with his patented Griffey-inspired swing unchanged.
Both Mookie Betts and Max Muncy worked high counts in earning walks ahead of Bellinger’s grand slam. It could be a familiar theme this season as the Dodger lineup slowly wears down opposing pitchers, perhaps leading to a fatigued offering that can quickly turn into a problem.
The Dodgers are set to open the regular season on Thursday against the San Francisco Giants.