The Los Angeles Dodgers head into the break red-hot as they have the best record in the National League and only trail the New York Yankees by three games for the best record in baseball. Los Angeles has a comfortable 10-game lead in the division and a six-game lead for a top-two spot as well as a first-round bye in the playoffs.
While the team success has been there, the individual success has not been there for every player. There are certainly candidates to win awards this season but there are also players who desperately needed the All-Star Break to refuel and take a breather because their first-half performance was downright unacceptable.
The second half can hopefully represent turning a new page for several Dodgers who need to quickly get one track and start producing.
These 5 Dodgers need a wake-up call after the All-Star Break
5. Cody Bellinger
Cody Bellinger has had one of the most interesting young careers in baseball … history? Bellinger burst onto the scene with a record-setting debut season that won him the National League Rookie of the Year award. He took a step back the following year (but was still good), and then had one of the best starts in modern MLB history in 2019.
That red-hot start propelled Bellinger to an insane season that netted him the NL MVP award. His MVP campaign is one of just 19 seasons in league history in which a player slugged 45 or more home runs, stole 15 or more bases, and did so with a .300 batting average or better.
Then there was the wonky 2020 season in which he still came up clutch in the playoffs, a horrible injury-ridden season in 2021, and a slightly better (but still bad) healthy season in 2022. Bellinger is currently slashing .202/.270/.377 and has struck out 98 times — the same number of times as Joey Gallo, which is ironic, as the two have nearly identical numbers this season.
Bellinger is still an elite defensive player that will be in the running for the Gold Glove this season, but he simply hasn’t been able to hit. The 2019 MVP has devolved into Jason Heyward and that needs to change if he wants to remain in LA.