Dodgers

Dodgers News: Former NL MVP Gets a Couple Days Off for Mental Reset

Mired in a slump, Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger has been benched for at least two games in what manager Dave Roberts is calling a “reset.”

Early this month, both Cody Bellinger and Max Muncy seemed to have turned corners with their offensive performance. But while Muncy has mostly maintained his improved performance, Bellinger has turned yet another corner, suggesting that perhaps his steering wheel is stuck in place.

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Since his three-hit, two-homer game against the Padres on August 7, Bellinger is 2-for-19 with a .416 OPS in his last five games. In both Sunday’s series finale in Kansas City and Monday’s series opener in Milwaukee, Bellinger had no hits and two strikeouts, going a combined 0-for-7 with four Ks.

That prompted manager Dave Roberts to call Bellinger into the principal’s office, with the end result being a decision to give Bellinger a little time off. He was not in the lineup on Tuesday and is expected to sit on Wednesday, too.

The reset works for a couple other Dodgers, too. It gives the team a chance to see Chris Taylor in center, and it opens up some at-bats for Joey Gallo. Taylor’s center-field defense and Gallo’s bat are both things the Dodgers need to get some clarity on heading into the postseason.

Bellinger is in the midst of his third straight rough season since his MVP season in 2019. His .661 OPS is about 21 percent worse than league average, and while his defense has remained good enough to keep him in the lineup with a big division lead, it might not be good enough to roll him out in October when every game matters.

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