In addition to his production being down, he hit the injured list earlier this month with a fractured left rib.
Fortunately, the hip issue didn’t keep him on the shelf for long, as he was able to return to action on Wednesday night against the San Diego Padres.
He returned with a bang, as he launched a game-tying home run in the eighth inning of an eventual Dodgers win.
Cody Bellinger got subbed in because of an injury tonight and has now hit the game-tying home run in the 8th inning! pic.twitter.com/6JEUGKQOpy
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) September 30, 2021
That was a fantastic moment in an otherwise underwhelming season for Bellinger.
With the playoffs approaching, the Dodgers need the 26-year-old to build some momentum off of that clutch home run.
The two-time All-Star isn’t a lock to make the postseason roster, and he has a lot to prove over the final few games of the regular season if he wants to guarantee his place.
Bellinger’s Season At A Glance
Let’s call it like it is: Bellinger has had the worst season of his career.
Over 91 games, the former fourth-round pick is batting .161 with a .540 OPS, 46 OPS+, and -1.7 WAR.
He’s reaching base at a miserable .238 clip, which is candidly an unserviceable mark.
He has just one multi-hit game since August 11, and he has a slash line of .120/.165/.194 since that date (which is a period of 36 games).
Since July 1st
Juan Soto OBP: .513
Cody Bellinger OPS: .460
— Nate (@notNate99) September 21, 2021
This isn’t fun to see, because Bellinger is a very exciting player when he’s at the top of his game.
Remember his MVP campaign in 2019?
That wasn’t very long ago at all.
That season, he slashed .305/.406/.629, led the league in total bases with 351, and smacked 47 home runs, 34 doubles, and three triples.
He had a mammoth 8.6 WAR that year.
He’s only 26 years old today, so it’s not like his talent just washed away.
Bellinger is still capable of being a superstar at the MLB level.
There’s 1 Big Reason Why Dodgers Should Feel Inclined To Include Bellinger On Playoff Roster
We’ve seen in the past what Bellinger can do on big stages.
His postseason track record on the whole is iffy, but he has had some fantastic runs in October.
For instance, just last season, he posted an .875 OPS, two home runs, and a triple in the NLCS.
The Dodgers, of course, won that series and went on to win the World Series title.
In 2018, Bellinger had another fantastic showing in the NLCS.
Although his overall numbers in the series weren’t great, he had a walk-off single and game-winning home run in two separate games of the series.
He took home NLCS MVP honors as a result.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 21, 2018
The former Rookie of the Year has what it takes to deliver in October.
But if he doesn’t get the chance, he won’t be able to.
Now, to be clear, Bellinger hasn’t done much this season to deserve a playoff roster spot.
But if he flips a switch over the final few games of the regular season and starts to heat up, then the Dodgers might have a reason to give him the nod.
We’ll have to wait and see how the next few days unfold.