MILWAUKEE (AP) — Cody Bellinger, the 2019 NL MVP whose production has dropped dramatically, was benched by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Bellinger could sit out the final three games of the team’s series in Milwaukee.
“I wanted to give him a little bit of a reset,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “He’s been grinding a lot.”
Bellinger is batting .206 with 15 homers and 50 RBI. He started Monday night in center field against the Brewers, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, and has two hits in his last 19 at-bats.
Chris Taylor shifted from left field to center for Tuesday’s game, with Joey Gallo joining the lineup in left.
Roberts hopes Bellinger can work through his struggles in time to help the Dodgers in September and beyond. Los Angeles has the best record in the majors.
“He’s a guy we’re counting on,” Roberts said.
Bellinger won NL Rookie of the Year honors in 2017 and MVP two years later, batting .305 with 47 homers and 115 RBIs.
He batted .239 with 12 homers in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, then slumped to .165 with 10 homers in 95 games last year.
“There aren’t that many guys in the game that peaked that early,” Roberts said. “So, now it’s not easy to deal with some of the hardships of the last two and a half years. I just want him to know that we’re all supporting him.
Roberts didn’t rule out using Bellinger in a platoon situation if he doesn’t find his stroke.
“At some point, I’m going to put the guys out there that give us the best chance to win,” he said.
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