Dodgers call up top prospect Cody Bellinger in hopes of an offensive boost
Finding themselves in a little bit of an April rut, the San Francisco Giants on Monday summoned their top prospect, 21-year-old Christian Arroyo, to the big leagues. Then, the Giants eked out a 2-1 win against the rival Los Angeles Dodgers in Arroyo’s MLB debut.
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The Dodgers are in a bit of an April rut too. They’ve lost six of their last eight games after that loss to the Giants. So on Tuesday they summoned their top prospect, 21-year-old Cody Bellinger, to the big leagues. He figures to make his MLB debut on Tuesday night against the Giants at AT&T Park.
The April call-up, apparently, is the thing to do when you’re chasing the Colorado Rockies and the Arizona Diamondbacks in the standings.
The arrival of Bellinger is a bit of surprise. He was expected to crack the big-league roster this season, but April? That’s taken some unexpected circumstances. Outfielder Joc Pederson went on the DL on Monday with a groin injury. The Dodgers, meanwhile, are hitting .228 as a team dating back to April 16, when this funk of theirs began.
That brings us to Bellinger, who was projected as a top-10-in-all-of-baseball prospect by MLB.com and Baseball America on their preseason lists. He’s hit like it so far too. In 18 games in Triple-A, Bellinger slashed .343/.429/.627 with five homers and 15 RBIs. Those are Triple-A numbers, sure, but nobody on the big-league roster has that many homers yet. And only Corey Seager has 15 RBIs.
Confirmed. #LetsGoDodgers pic.twitter.com/NWzfgFUZfG
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) April 25, 2017
The thing to watch with Bellinger is how he fares in the outfield. He’s viewed as the first baseman of the future for the Dodgers. But the first baseman of the present, Adrian Gonzalez, is still around (he’s yet to homer this season, but that’s another topic altogether). With Scott Van Slyke also seeing time at first base and Pederson out, Bellinger is a better fit to move between left field and center for the Dodgers, two positions with which he’s at least familiar.
Bellinger isn’t there to save the Dodgers’ season. First, it’s too early for that and, second, that’s not his responsibility to bear. But with the Dodgers looking for a boost, they might be able to find it in Bellinger.
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Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @MikeOz