Two more accolades were added to members of the Dodgers organization today. Announced earlier on MLB Network, starter Alex Wood was named NL Pitcher of the Month, and Cody Bellinger was named NL Rookie of the Month.
In five starts, Wood recorded a 5-0 record with a 1.27 ERA and an impressive 41:7 strikeout-to-walk ratio across 28-1/3 innings pitched en route to claiming his first career monthly award. Wood is the first Dodgers pitcher to be awarded NL Pitcher of the Month since teammate Clayton Kershaw last May.
Although he is currently on the disabled list, the 26-year-old lefty enters play today in the midst of a four-start scoreless streak, dating back to his May 8th start against the Pirates. Through the first two months of the season, the University of Georgia product is the only NL starter to have posted four consecutive starts without allowing an earned run. Houston’s AL Pitcher of the Month, Lance McCullers, is the only other starter in the majors to accomplish the feat. Entering play today, Los Angeles pitchers pace the National League with a 3.19 ERA and 1.16 WHIP, are tied for the league-lead in opponents’ batting average, and trail only the Diamondbacks in strikeouts with 513. Led in large part by their outstanding pitching, the Dodgers own a 33-22 record and trail the Rockies and Diamondbacks by a half-game in the very competitive NL West.
Others receiving votes for NL Pitcher of the Month included Wood’s aforementioned teammate Kershaw, Stephen Strasburg, Zack Greinke, Robbie Ray, Carlos Martínez and NL Reliever of the Month Greg Holland.
In recognition of his Pitcher of the Month Award, Wood will receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, for his accomplishments. The honor is all the sweeter because Wood started the season in the bullpen, and forced the issue of staying in the starting rotation with his stellar performances.
Bellinger went 26-for-106 registering a .245 BA with 22 runs scored, five doubles, a triple, nine home runs, 27 RBI, 11 walks and a stolen base to earn his first career monthly award. Bellinger is the first Dodgers player to win NL Rookie of the Month since teammate Corey Seager took home rookie honors last June. Among qualified NL rookie sluggers with at least 20 ABs, the 21-year-old finished the month first in runs scored, hits, extra-base hits, home runs and RBI; tied for first in stolen bases; second in walks; third in slugging percentage and tied for fourth in doubles. On May 6th against the San Diego Padres, Bellinger went 2-for-4 with a home run, a stolen base and career-high five RBI. With his first career grand slam in the ninth inning of the Dodgers’ 10-2 win over the Padres, Bellinger became the first Dodger since 1900 to hit five long balls in his first 11 major league games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Additionally, the Scottsdale, Arizona native became just the second player to debut since 1920 to record at least five home runs and 14 RBI in his first 11 games since Mark Quinn belted five homers and 16 RBI for the Royals in 1999. Following his multi-homer output the night before, as part of a three-hit game, Bellinger became the first player in club history since 1913 to log two multi-homer games in his first 10 career games. In Monday’s contest against the Cardinals, Bellinger connected for his 11th home run of the 2017 campaign. With the solo homer, the Dodgers’ fourth round selection in the 2013 MLB Draft became the fastest Dodger in franchise history to reach 11 round-trippers, accomplishing the feat in 32 games. Bellinger is the first Dodger player to record 10-or-more homers in a calendar month since Matt Kemp in April 2012.
Since 1913, only four players have hit more homers through the first 32 games of their career, all doing so with 12 home runs: Mike Jacobs, Kevin Maas, Dave Hostetler and José Abreu. In addition, the 11 blasts match current teammate Joc Pederson and former Dodger James Loney for the most home runs by a rookie in any month in club history. Moreover, with 27 RBI, the versatile youngster established a new Dodgers rookie record for RBI in the month of May, and tied Dick Cox for the third-most RBI by a rookie in any calendar month, following Loney and Del Bissonette.
Others receiving votes for NL Rookie of the Month included Hunter Renfroe of the Padres; German Márquez and April’s Rookie of the Month Antonio Senzatella of the Rockies; and Jesús Aguilar of the Brewers.
In recognition of his Rookie of the Month Award, Bellinger will receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, for his accomplishments.
(Joe Jareck furnished the majority of information in this report)