With soreness still lingering from a non-displaced fracture in his left rib, Cody Bellinger was placed on the injured list by the Dodgers on Tuesday, another blow in a brutal season for the outfielder.
Bellinger injured his ribs in a collision with outfield novice Gavin Lux on September 13. But Bellinger stayed in to finish that game, and played the next three full games in centerfield before missing the final two games over the weekend in Cincinnati with soreness from the injury.
He was originally penciled into the Dodgers lineup on Tuesday against the Rockies, but still felt pain in his ribs before the game and was scratched.
“It’s not ideal. But neither is being in too much pain to feel you can perform at a certain level,” manager Dave Roberts said. “So if that’s the case, and that’s where we get to, we’ll just have to figure out how to make the most of it.”
Bellinger is hitting .159/.237/.291 in 89 games, coming off shoulder surgery in a year in which he missed nearly eight weeks with a fractured left fibula and also was sidelined by a hamstring injury. This is his third injured list stint of the season.
Among the 242 major league batters with at least 300 plate appearances in 2021, Bellinger ranks 242nd in batting average, 241st in on-base percentage, 239th in slugging percentage, and 241st in wRC+ (45).
|1B||Muncy (L)||RF||Blackmon (L)|
|LF||Lux (L)||3B||McMahon (L)|
Bellinger’s injured list stint is retroactive to Saturday, meaning the earliest he could return is next Tuesday, with six games remaining in the regular season.
Luke Raley joined the team on Monday and was recalled Tuesday to take Bellinger’s place on the roster. Raley gets the start in right field, batting eighth, with Mookie Betts moving over to center.
Notably, Chris Taylor is not starting after starting the final two games in Cincinnati. Taylor missed five full games and was limited to pinch-hitting duty in a sixth game with neck soreness before the weekend. Taylor’s status did not come up during the pregame session with Roberts.
Raley is hitting .295/.394/.579 with 18 home runs in 67 games for Triple-A Oklahoma City. In 30 games in the majors this year, he’s 10-for-59, hitting .169/.246/.237 with a home run. His stay with the big club could be short, because AJ Pollock will join the Dodgers on Wednesday.
Roberts said the plan is to activate Pollock on Thursday’s game, accelerating his return timetable by at least one day. Pollock has been sidelined since September 4 with a Grade 2 right hamstring strain.