Bellinger Should Be for Opening Day

Tuesday, February 23, 2021
Copyrighted by Sarah Morris, 2021

Today was the first full-squad workout at Camelback Ranch, and everyone is COVID free.

Coming off offseason shoulder surgery, Cody Bellinger is on schedule to be ready for Opening Day, April 1st against the Colorado Rockies. At no time during the abbreviated 2020 season, despite hitting a crucial go-ahead home run during Game 7 in the NLCS against the Atlanta Braves, Bellinger looked like himself.

After his breakout 2019 season when Bellinger earned the National League MVP with a batting average of .305, 47 home runs, and 115 RBI, most people expected Bellinger to be great. He could not hit the outside pitch with authority. His 2020 statistics of .239 batting average, 12 home runs, and 30 RBI were disappointing, but his offensive struggles did not affect his defensive play.

Bellinger displayed his outstanding defense in center field throughout the postseason. His outstanding range prevented many base hits and runs from scoring. Most casual baseball fans overlook Bellinger’s defensive contributions. His excellent offense helps the pitching staff conserve its energy.

During his first full-squad address, manager Dave Roberts remembered Tommy Lasorda who died on January 8. Ever since his retirement from Dodger manager in 1996, Lasorda was a fixture at spring training. He encouraged every Dodger. The Dodgers have a locker set up for the deceased Lasorda. When Lasorda went to Arlington to see the team winning the first world championship since 1988, the organization felt special.

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