Dodgers News and Notes – Bellinger Player of the Week, Dodgers Pitching Dominance and More

Through the Los Angeles Dodgers Spring Training and into the start of the season, fans wondered about Cody Bellinger and if he would ever regain his 2019 NL MVP status.

Bellinger looked lost at the plate in Spring Training, striking out a lot and barely getting the bat on the ball. He was tinkering much with his swing, trying to find his form. He quipped that he was just getting his “punchies” (his word for strikeouts) out of the way in Spring Training.

Fans need not have worried. Bellinger has found his swing, and has been so good of late that he earned himself NL Player of the Week, for the week ending April 24th. During the week, Belli went 7-for-23 with three runs scored, two doubles, a triple, three home runs, seven RBI and an .870 slugging percentage across six games.

Cody had two home runs in Sunday’s game against the San Diego Padres, his first multi-home run game of the season. He now leads a potent Dodgers lineup with four home runs, 32 total bases, and a slugging percentage of .582. It is Bellinger’s fourth Player of the Week award, and his first since that 2019 MVP season.

While the Dodgers lineup has been doing damage and scoring a lot of runs, the Dodgers’ pitching staff has also been holding up their end of the bargain. Currently the pitching staff as a whole is first in MLB with a 2.22 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and .191 batting average against. Their starters are second only to the New York Mets in Wins, with 11.

While everyone expected the Dodgers to be the top of the NL West and National League this season, maybe not everyone expected the NL West to be such a tightly contested race. While the season is only three weeks old, the NL West is a pretty close race between four teams. The Dodgers, Padres, San Francisco Giants, and Colorado Rockies are all within 2.0 games of each other, and four of the best seven records in the National League. Something to keep an eye on as the season progresses.

The Dodgers now begin a three game series with the only team in the NL West that will not be contending for the division crown. The Arizona Diamondbacks are currently 6-10, good for a .375 winning percentage.

Probable pitching matchups will be Walker Buehler and Merrill Kelly on Monday; Tony Gonsolin and Zach Davies on Tuesday, and Julio Urías and Zac Gallen for Wednesday’s matinee.

Kelly currently has a minuscule 0.59 ERA, but the only batter in the Dodgers lineup who has less than a .333 batting average against him is Chris Taylor.

Before Monday’s game, the Dodgers optioned Zach McKinstry back to Triple-A Oklahoma City, and recalled RHP Andre Jackson. Jackson has only allowed one run in three appearances in Triple-A, and could be slotted to piggyback with Tyler Anderson in the rotation.

7 thoughts on “Dodgers News and Notes – Bellinger Player of the Week, Dodgers Pitching Dominance and More

  1. The Giants could win 107 games again this season and I still wouldn’t be able to convince myself that they’re a really good team. On the other hand, the Padres could collapse again and I wouldn’t be able to convince myself that they aren’t the second best team in the division, especially once they get Tatis and their injured pitchers back.

    I guess that makes me a pretty poor judge of baseball teams.

  2. Farhan Zaidi has the knack for finding talent. He demonstrated that with the Dodgers and again last year he could put together a team that excelled with the talent he had on hand with what he signed and traded for. Giants are showing the baseball world again they are better than any of the baseball experts forecast. I am a Zaidi fan and a baseball fan but do not root for the Giants. Padres seem to have enough cohesion issues to never be able to play to their perceived talent level.
    Dodgers should win the NL West, we shall see.
    I wonder if Manfred ever finds a spine and decides what to do about Bauer. At this point, I am guessing Bauer pitches for the Dodgers by June. And the “Perceived” rotation weakness” of the Dodgers with Gonsolin, Heaney, and Anderson pitching well shows as a strength especially if Bauer is back.

    1. The latest delay in the Bauer case expires on Friday. There are those who think that MLB has picked that day to make their announcement about any Bauer penalty because it coincides with the NFL draft, which will become the headline story of the day and not Bauer. Makes sense to me, especially if the decision is no suspension or time already served. Let’s see if it plays out that way

  3. That was great to watch Freeman poke the ball thru the left side on the shift, looked like he could do that all day long.

  4. I guess Buehler got tired of reading about how he was the worst of the 5 starters so went out and pitched a complete game shutout. That’ll shut us up.

  5. I guess the Cody unbelievers are not going to have much to say for at least a week. He hit a ball last night that before they started using that stupid humidor would have carried to the wall for a double at least. Buehler had something to prove last night and did a damn good job doing it. Betts took the blame for Saturday’s loss. Total professional and one of the reasons I respect him as a player.

    1. Thank you bear. Some of us (me) need at least another week before we accept cody is back from his historical , record breaking season. I said before that if he hits 220 with a few homers it will be a significant upgrade fir the team. Don’t know what a 270 season with a few homers will do but it’s good. Now about the starting rotation?

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