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Dave Roberts not concerned with Cody Bellinger’s struggles

+ some other Dodgers news

San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Cody Bellinger, the reigning 2019 National League MVP, isn’t in the starting lineup on Saturday. It’s been a rough start to the 2020 season for him, as he’s currently hitting .139 with only one extra base hit through the first eight games of the season.

Though he’s been struggling at the plate, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts isn’t too concerned.

“The contact rate is still good,” Roberts said. “The angle trajectory is not where we want it to be. He’s not punching [out]. I don’t think he looks comfortable, he’s still trying to figure some things out. There are some calls that could go either way that could flip counts, he’s on the wrong side of those. This is the way it goes sometimes. It’s one of those things that’s just more magnified now. He’ll work through it. Hopefully today he eases his mind.”

When he showed up to summer camp, Bellinger was toying with a new swing. He didn’t like how he performed during the second half last season, so he wanted to try and work out some kinks to improve it. Safe to say, that hasn’t gone well yet.

“I think that Cody was very confident in what he came to summer camp with,” Roberts said. “I expect good things to happen. You never really know until you face live pitching. You always try to tweak things. I’m very confident that he’ll find some comfort1 in his swing. I know the production will be there.”

Bellinger will be back in the starting lineup tomorrow.

News and notes

  • The Dodgers optioned Tony Gonsolin and recalled Mitch White. Gonsolin pitched four scoreless innings for the Dodgers last night, but with him being unavailable tonight, the Dodgers are adding an extra arm in the bullpen. Roberts said with the starters not lasting long over the past week, bullpen depth is needed. He also added how good White looked during his scrimmage start versus Arizona.
  • AJ Pollock is in center field tonight. He’s played 618 games in center, but has moved to primarily left field this year. Pollock has spent majority of his career playing center field at Chase Field. “I feel very confident with him playing center and to give Cody a day off,” Roberts said.
  • Max Muncy is leading off again. When batting first this year, Muncy is hitting .188/.381/.250/.631 with no homers. When he hits second, he’s hitting .294/.400/.882/1.282 with three homers.

“Just being at the top, he can slug you, he can get on base and he always conducts a professional at bat,” Roberts said. “It’s certainly an adjustment for him being the first hitter of the game. As the game unfolds, that situation might not present itself. I encourage him to be the hitter he is. I appreciate his openness.”

  • Chris Taylor isn’t in the lineup tonight. Last night after stealing second base, his scab came off his hand. He’s available off the bench, likely going to be in the lineup tomorrow.