Following his late-April call-up to the Dodgers, Cody Bellinger began his major league career by going one-for-ten, with only an infield single over his first three major league games. Batting .100 and his continued presence in the bigs quickly fading, his next game, on April 28, saw Bellinger get two singles and score his first run. The next day, he showed off a glimpse of his power, hitting two solo home runs. And he hasn’t stopped since. Beginning with that April 28 game, Bellinger has gone 14-for-32, a .438 average, and over the intervening eight games through yesterday, he’s hit five home runs and driven in 14, including his second two-homer game Friday and capped off with his first grand slam yesterday against the Padres.
His 14 runs batted in over his first 11 major league games is the best ever for a member of the Dodgers since the rbi became an official stat in 1920. Playing against all comers,
Bellinger has hit .367 against righties with ten rbi in 30 at bats, and .333 against lefties with four rbi in 12 at bats, though he is yet to homer against a lefty. When he and the Dodgers take the field this afternoon, Bellinger will have a chance to right the one stat that so far shows one weakness – so far in day games he’s hitting only .167 with zero runs batted in.
Bellinger’s five home runs ties him for the Dodgers’ team lead, and his 14 rbi total puts him only four down from Yasiel Puig’s team leading 18, accomplished in 111 at bats as compared to Bellinger’s 42. Ballinger’s 1.199 OPS would put him third in the National League if he had enough plate appearances to qualify.
In today’s game Brandon McCarthy will be getting the start after his game was pushed back a day after he reported pain in his left and non-pitching shoulder due, he said, to a wright-living incident. Of course, with McCarthy’s long history of injury problems, well documented here since he joined the Dodgers on a four-year, $48 Million contract prior to the 2015 season. For the record, following his signing that contract, he has been healthy enough to start all of four games in 2015 and to make ten appearances in 2016. With his five starts and 29 innings in 2017, that means for over $25 Million the Dodgers have gotten 92 innings and eight wins out of McCarthy over more than one-half the contract period. With today’s questionable weather, there is a chance of a rainout and his start being pushed back another day or even having his turn skipped so as not to further disrupt the rest of the rotation’s starters.
As to that, following his limited rehab start and all of two dozen pitches thrown the other day, Rich Hill will supposedly make one more rehab start Tuesday and then [oy!] purportedly rejoin the team and start next weekend in Colorado.
What is it with the Dodgers and giving broken-down, seldom-to-never-were injury prone pitchers $48 Million contracts? McCarthy, Hill and Scott Kazmir ALL have $48 Million deals from the Dodgers, and as of today, the three of them have thrown exactly 37 major league innings this season.Time will tell if McCarthy’s shoulder problem is something to worry about, or if he’ll suffer some other injury along the way. What is certain, however, is that Hill will pitch very little this year, or next, or next after that, and that Kazmir is unlikely ever to pitch again in a Dodgers’ uniform.
But at a rookie minimum, the Dodgers’ have some bargain in Bellinger.