Cody Bellinger is back and starting in center field against the Padres on Wednesday night at Petco Park, the second Dodgers regular to return in as many days.
Bellinger missed the last 10 games with left hamstring tightness, continuing a season that has been filled with setbacks. He had shoulder surgery in November that left him behind in spring training, during which he only played in games over the final two weeks of camp. Then he got spiked in the fifth game of the regular season and missed 46 games with a fractured left fibula.
Spending so much of his season rehabbing at Camelback Ranch in Arizona, Bellinger said in May, “Honestly, I feel like I haven’t been part of the team this year.”
Less than two weeks after returning from his broken fibula, Bellinger felt tightness in his left hamstring on June 11, first while evading a wild pitch then while running to first base. The Dodgers waited three days before ultimately putting Bellinger on the injured list, though were able to backdate the move to June 12.
Wednesday is just the 17th game of the season for Bellinger, out of 74. Among his 57 games missed are all nine games thus far against the Padres. But now he’s back, patrolling center field. Max Muncy, who returned on Tuesday and reached base twice, played second base in his first game back after missing nine games with oblique tightness. On Wednesday, he’s back at first base against Padres right-hander Joe Musgrove, against whom he is 5-for-9 with two doubles and four walks.
To make roster room for Bellinger, the Dodgers optioned utility man Andy Burns to Triple-A Oklahoma City. The 30-year-old was called up on May 12, the day after both Bellinger and Muncy were injured. Burns’ first time back in the majors since 2016 was eventful. He was 3-for-11 with a double, three walks, and a hit by pitch, hitting .273/.467/.364.
Burns got his first major league hit, and it that same game even pitched an inning.
In addition to pitching, Burns started twice at second base, and also played two games at third base and twice at first base in reserve.