Why Cody Bellinger Moves From 1B

There is no right answer here.  But, the fact of the matter is that no rookie in the history of baseball has matched what one Cody Bellinger has done in less than 100 games!  Cody Bellinger has 34 home runs in 97 games and is likely the best 1B in all of baseball. He’s fast, he’s gifted and he’s a Future Hall-of-Famer (I guarantee it or your money back).  Mike Piazza hold the Dodger rookie record for Home Runs (35), but he did it in about 50 more games than Cody.  Cody will demolish that record.

Cody Bellinger may ultimately be one of the best first basemen ever… but for the rest of this season, he is likely to be a left or right fielder.  There’s an IF… If Adrian Gonzalez is healthy and he looked healthy last night.  Look, just because I was against THE TRADE does not mean I don’t like A-Gon.  A-Gon is a awesome player at the end of his career, but he has rested and rehabbed for almost three months and he should be fresh (IF he is healthy).

Cody Bellinger is the Dodger’s future 1B and everyone knows it, but did you see the look of admiration in his eyes when A-Gon doubled last night?  Cody knows A-Gon has to take 1B back. A-Gon used to be a #3 or #4 hitter, but on this team, right here, right now, he is likely a #6 hitter and he could be the best one is baseball (IF he is healthy). The Dodgers are a better team if Bellinger and a healthy Adrian Gonzalez are BOTH in the lineup.  Even Ray Charles can see that.

Cody is a pretty dang good left fielder or right fielder and can even play CF, but Adrian can only play 1B.  So, it’s settled, against Right Handed Pitchers, A-Gon is the first baseman.  Maybe not against LH pitchers, but certainly against RH pitchers.  I don’t see A-Gon as the EVERYDAY 1B, but you never know what a healthy veteran player at the end of his career can do, so he has to play… IF he is healthy!  End of story!

Curtis Granderson

Speaking of healthy veteran players at the end of his career brings me to Curtis Granderson, whom the Dodgers acquired last night. Curtis has 312 career home runs, of which 240 are against RH pitching.  His career OPS is .857 against RH pitching.  He has hit lefties to the tune of .224 over his career while he averages .265 against righties.  he is a classic platoon player and that is why he came to LA.  He happens to be hot right now, OPS’ing 1.326 over the past week.

It’s probably very hard for Curtis to be motivated to play on a team like the Mets at the end of his career, but like Marlon Anderson, he could be resurrected with the Dodgers. Anderson only had 73 plate appearances for the Dodgers in 2006, but he hit 7 HR, 3 doubles, 3 triples and OPS’ed 1.243 while on the team that year.

Joc Pederson is hitting .111 over the last 7 days, .080 the past two weeks and .127 the past month.  They are trying to re-make his swing again and even though he had a double last night, he looks totally lost.  I think he will go to OKC before today’s game and Curtis and Kike will platoon in CF.   Maybe Granderson goes to LF and Taylor plays CF?  We shall see.  This could be Granderson’s last season and I am sure he would like to go out with a Ring – he just might seize the day.

… and just maybe, they can fix Joc at AAA.  I love the move.  It gives the team lots of options.  Oh, and it keeps his away from the other contenders.

Rants and Raves

  • Logan Forsythe bashers have recently been seen crawling back into their holes.  Now, he’s getting hot.  Come on, when will we ever learn?
  • Henry Ramos was 0 fer again (.263 ouch) – so much for that idea.
  • Andre Ethier was 0-3 in Tulsa.
  • Scott Barlow went 6.2 and pitched well.
  • It’s an early game today.

Posted by Mark Timmons

We started LA Dodger Talk in 2001. This site is about giving another perspective outside of the average day-to-day reporting. We don't do game recaps or such things -- lots of sites do that well. I value sabermetrics, but don't think they are the "end-all-be-all.". This is where you should start your day as a Dodger Fan. Welcome! We'd like to hear your voice.

This article has 73 Comments

  1. My first observation upon seeing AGon last night, was that he’d lost a bit of timber.
    He certainly looked heavier at the start of the season than I remember, and carrying weight never helps a bad back.

    I really like the Granderson pick up – lots more options for the post season.
    Heady times these.

  2. Curtis Granderson is a great pickup. I would guess that Joc goes down to fine tune his stroke again. When he comes back in September, Granderson will be there to become a mentor to Joc as Chase Utley was to Seager. There are not many better citizens than Curtis Granderson. He is a great clubhouse presence, and just like with Utley, his character will rub off on the youngsters, and hopefully Joc.
    September call-ups got a little dicier now that Floro was designated for assignment. That is one less DFA. But the goal this year is to win the WS, and Granderson helps that cause. With the number of right handed pitchers they are likely to face in the playoffs, a veteran left handed hitter that is getting hot at the right time will help. Especially with someone who has an OPS of 1.070, .920., and .933 against Jake Arrieta, Max Scherer, and Tanner Roark respectively. I am sure those OPS numbers were not lost on FAZ. Plus nobody knows how Ethier is going to do after being out of baseball for nearly all of the last two year, or how AGon’s back will hold up, or if Joc will ever figure it out.

  3. At first I thought why Granderson. I was hoping maybe Verdugo or Ramos would get a shot this fall. Now I do not think they will. FAZ likes veterans. Seager was the only one brought up in September and started in the play offs. Of course, he is a different breed of cat. Joc is the only problem I see on this team. FAZ wants to win it this year. I think Granderson will fit in nicely and it looks like a they did not give up much to get him. Now they need to figure out what they have in the bullpen. The parts are all there. They just need to figure out the right match ups.

  4. I read a good article on what the Dodgers were trying to accomplish the last three years. It is what Mark and others have been saying. They were trying to win now and build up the farm at the same time. That is why they had to go over the luxury cap to pay veterans so they could be competitive now. That is why they kept Seager, Bellinger and Beuhler. They will lose a lot of salary in the next two year. That will allow them to sign and pay Seager and Bellinger and others when they reach arbitration and free agency. Kasten was the one being quoted.

  5. This is probably not the last deal that the Dodgers will make this month, but even though I suggested it last night, upon further thought, I doubt if it’s the prelude to a larger deal that could involve Stanton. The more I think about it, the less inclined I am to think that the Dodgers have any intention of taking on Stanton’s contract that runs through 2027, and which also contains a full no trade clause. The Dodgers haven’t spent all this time and money rebuilding the farm system in order to remain locked into the luxury tax for years to come. In fact, I’m not 100% sure that the Dodgers will re-sign Kershaw if he opts out after next year.

    Assuming that Pederson has options left, I think it’s likely that he goes to OKC to make room for Granderson, and that Chris Taylor moves to CF with Granderson platooning with Kike` in left. To the best of my knowledge, Granderson is no longer considered to be an asset in CF.

    I forget where I saw it, but I read somewhere last night that the Dodgers also acquired the Mets catcher Rene Rivera in the Granderson deal. With Farmer having done a good job while he was up, and with Grandal and Austin Barnes already around, I wonder what, if any, role Rivera would have with the Dodgers. It even makes me wonder if Farmer might conceivably be the PTBNL, especially since Grandal and Barnes are likely to be around for the next several years, and because the Dodgers have several younger, and promising catching prospects in the pipeline.

  6. I like the granderson signing. He may not hit lefties but he was a tough out for kershaw. His strikeouts are high but against the dodgers he battled and was a pain. He can also steal a base if needed. Now my biggest concern is a setup guy. Please no Baez no three peat. He has given up the long ball at the most inopportune times. Keep him in 6th or maybe 7 th inning. Unfortunately fields is homer prone as well. Buehler is a long shot but wacha albeit a starter did it for cards.

    1. Therealten

      I had the same thoughts about Buehler being like Wacha was for the Cards, in his first season up, at the end of the year.

      Because like Wacha, no one in the big leagues, have seen Buehler at all this year, and that gives Buehler and the Dodgers, the edge, against hitters!

  7. Mark

    I think you summed this up, quite well.

    And you are right, you can’t say enough about Cody, and the player Cody is.

    And since Cody can play the outfield as well as any of our outfielders, it is smart to move Cody to the outfield, and get Agone’s bat in this line up, because that makes this team even better, so I don’t know how anyone can question your logic, about that.

    The key is that Bellinger in the outfield doesn’t weaken us, and although Agone is not the defensive player at first that Cody is, there are not to many first basemen, that plays that kind of defense, at first.

    And Agone is not really a problem on defense at first, either.

    I don’t know if Forsythe is getting hot, but I have noticed since he stopped trying to over work his counts, he has been a different hitter, so I have to give him credit for adjusting from what he had been doing, and I have a little more faith in Forsythe now, because he did that!

    I think the move to get Granderson, was a very good move!

    Granderson has been a much different hitter, in his last 250 at bats.

    He is hitting 275, and his OBA is 398, and he is slugging in the 600s, in his last 250 at bats.

    I don’t see how anyone can say anything negative about this move, because this is a very good, and a very smart move, for the team.

    First we don’t know if Joc will turn the corner and start hitting, and time is starting to run out.

    And Granderson’s offensive numbers have been pretty good in his last 250 at bats, and Joc has not showed much lately, when he has been up to bat, to believe he will turn it around.

    And according to defensive metrics, Granderson has played better defense in the outfield, then Joc has, this year.

    And Granderson is only costing the Dodgers, just under 4 million dollars, for the rest of the season.

    1. Logan’s approach is simple. He’s still working the counts, but his approach is this. With no strikes, he’s looking for one pitch in one spot to drive. If it isn’t there he takes. With one strike, similar but expand the zone a bit. With two strikes its more protect mode. The AB’s that he hasn’t driven from pitch 1 or 2, he’s still going deep into counts. I don’t have a problem with that approach if you have a good enough eye to do it.

      1. Hawkeye

        You are right about that, and he also has to have the bat speed, to make up for any tough counts, he gets into, too.

        But he does look much better now!

  8. They mentioned last night that thru 2020 Jordan Zimmerman will make, on the average, $20,000,000 a year, He was worth it when he signed, but he is not having a good year now. I don’t think he could make the Dodger rotation. I could certainly understand if the Dodgers did not want to make a similar long-term commitment to Kershaw for even more dollars. Yet, it would be a big disappointment if Kershaw went into the Hall of Fame as anything but a Dodger. It would be tough to be a GM in situations like these.
    And damn, it just dawned on me how close 2020 is. Wasn’t is just yesterday that we were worried about the world’s computers going haywire because of the change of millenniums?

  9. With A-Gon and Grandy in the lineup against RH pitching, the Dodgers will be very dangerous.

    1. Taylor CF (.308 against RHP)
    2. Seager SS (.291 – actually hit LHP better, but still good)
    3. Turner 3B (.316 against RHP – almost .400 against LHP)
    4. Bellinger RF (.278 and 25 HR against RHP)
    5. Granderson LF (Career RHP Killer)
    6. A-Gon 1B (Career RHP Hiller)
    7. Barnes C (.338 /.451 OB% against RHP – Sorry Yasmani)
    8. Puig RF (.387 BA/.899 OPS against RHP, but should never play against LHP)

    1. Mark

      Granderson can be pretty valuable, in the post season too.

      He has not only got use to the pitching in the National League now, he has faced a lot of the pitchers, in the American League too.

      This choice by the front office, just gets better, the more you think about it!

  10. Remember there’s an opportunity to DH today, although I would guess that Grandy might debut there.

  11. I love the trade bringing Curtis Granderson to LA. I hope Joc now goes down to AAA to re-evaluate his position present and future on the Dodgers. A wake up call is definitely necessary and overdue.
    As mentioned before on various sites Curtis has been very good since June 1st and over the course of this year his hit better than Joc in almost all categories:
    Joc: .221 Ave RHP: .785 OPS
    .191 Ave LHP; .581 OPS
    .213 Ave RISP
    .235 Ave RISP(2 outs)
    .230 AVE RHP: .853 OPS
    . 225 AVE LHP: .706 OPS
    . 282 AVE RISP
    . 424 AVE RISP(2 outs)

    1. Richie

      What Granderson is doing with runners in scoring position with two outs, makes a very big difference.

  12. After I posted above, I checked the Mets site and saw that Rene Rivera had been claimed by the Cubs. Don’t think I misread it, so whoever posted last night that Rivera was going to LA was obviously mistaken. And that makes sense, since I never thought Rivera going to the Dodgers made any sense.

    Puig’s problems with lefties is a mystery, and is probably a project for him to begin work on beginning this offseason, and into ST next year. Can’t believe that there isn’t a fix for that. But despite his problems with LHP, there is no doubt that anytime he is kept out of the lineup the defense is weakened. Also, when the Dodgers face a LHP, Kike` is usually in the lineup platooning in CF and Barnes is usually platooning behind the plate. That doesn’t leave much other righthanded hitting on the bench to replace or even pinch hit for Puig.

    1. Puig’s issues with lefties is similar to JT’s last year. JT was getting jammed by lefties a lot last year. Puig is so far off the plate now and is diving in to hit the ball. He needs a mechanical adjustment, but he’s still trying to master this new approach. It will come against lefties. It might be next year, but it will happen.

      1. I agree, but we have to win this one first. I’ll bet Barnes could play RF – he has a decent arm.

  13. The reason we got Granderson:
    his OPS vs Arrieta: 1.070
    his OPS vs. Scherzer: .920
    his OPS vs. Tanner Roark: .933

    Oh, and he starts in LF today and bats 5th after Belly

  14. I applaud the move to get Granderson for two reasons: CF has been a weakness and adding a veteran player with playoff experience. Curtis has played RF and CF this season so can still handle CF but so can Taylor. I think Kike will get infrequent starts and will be used as a utility man and PH. Everyone gets more rest and Taylor and Belly still play but get moved around a bit on defense. Joc is the obvious big loser for now but management must have seen what I have seen: a player who can and will be exploited by good pitching in key situations. The post season lights shine bright and the Dodgers are a better team without playing Joc and Kike every day in CF. Another loser may be Ethier but at this point his defense could be a liability and no telling how he plays in Sept.

    1. Shouldn’t affect Kike at all. He can do one thing and one thing only as a hitter. He hits fastballs off of lefties and he hits them hard. He will be in one of the outfield spots against lefties. The players most affected will be Joc obviously, Forsythe, and possibly Puig.

  15. I’m still at a loss here. Maybe you guys can clear it up for me. How are they going to get Bellinger, Taylor, Granderson, and Adrian on the field together when they have a right handed pitcher? In Mark’s lineup their were two RF’s and no second baseman. Is Forsythe the guy out with Taylor going to second or is Puig out and Granderson to RF?

      1. Hawkeye

        This is just merely a day off for Puig.

        He hasn’t been hitting like he has, so maybe a day off, was all he needed.

    1. Truth

      Every comment that I have seen from a Met’s fan, has said that Granderson is nothing, but a class act!

      1. Truth

        I guess you are a little excited?

        I know you have been waiting for this day, for a quite a while!

        1. Yes MJ! I hope he can work on his swing and come back better, don’t dislike him, just didn’t want him in our starting lineup

  16. Who would have thought of a move like this?

    Only the front office, would make a small move like this, make so much sense!

  17. I know, but I hate it when he’s not in the lineup. He got a big hit two nights ago and a knock last night. The lineup seems a little less exciting when he’s not out there. Granderson says he expects to mostly play LF which is odd when we all expected Bellinger to play LF when Adrian is at 1st.

    1. Hawkeye

      I know you Puig junkies, need your daily game fix!

      But with the outfield, I think everyone should play, where they feel comfortable, because that can be worked out, along the way.

      They asked Steve Garvey about messing with the chemistry of the team, and he said, when was the last time this team, has went to the World Series, and won!

      1. So, explain the comfortable part to me. Where is Taylor more comfortable? LF or CF. Granderson has mostly played CF and RF. Does this mean Bellinger is playing CF vs righties. I like Granderson, but to me he has always been a little overrated from his days where he got to hit into that short porch in NY. Hopefully, it all works out. If I was Andre I would be a little more worried about finding a spot on the post-season roster.

        1. Hawkeye

          I don’t know if this alignment today, in the outfield, is where everyone feels, more comfortable.

          I think that still needs to be worked out!

        2. Hawkeye

          The last time I saw Ethier, he looked pretty out of shape.

          He looked a little heavier to me, and I have never seen Ethier like that.

  18. YU to DL. Skipping a start. Paredes on the way. Stewart to start next time for Darvish who will be reinstated for his following start in LA. I would like to see more of Paredes.

    1. Hawkeye

      Do you think he might be a better option, then who we just got, or do you think he can fill in for Dayton?

      Do you think Granderson is our answer, to hit fifth?

      1. Im not sure on either. I like Dayton when he’s healthy but it sounds like he had another set back. I don’t dislike Avilan as much as some although he walks too many. I’d just like to see what the kid has. Maybe a Loogy. I think the Dodgers are vulnerable there. Doc needs to look at guys with reverse splits and use them accordingly at times. I’m in wait and see mode with Granderson. He’s had some big hits in his career. He doesn’t strike me as the answer to our problems in the 5 hole. It’s great that the front office continues to improve the team and Joc could use some time in AAA. I figured the front office wasn’t done but was a little surprised by Granderson. Today’s lineup looks older and less athletic, but a winner still Hopefully, Cody is okay and it doesn’t become a dreaded high ankle sprain. I have to admit I liked the bench with Farmer because we were seeing more of Barnes.

    2. Hawkeye

      With Puig, are with out Puig, this game wasn’t that exciting today.

      I hope your son will be ok, I know you said Joc was your son’s favorite player.

    1. Bluto

      Did you see the Dodgers sent a contingen to Japan, to scout Otani?

      Friedman and Orel, were part of that continent, scouting Otani.

      I was going to tell you the Red Sox have really picked some very good prospects, when they had those bad seasons..

      They did a lot better then the Giants did, in their two really bad seasons.

      It seems like the Red Sox, have another young prospect come up every year, that does well..

      1. I guess MJ.

        I know that Dombrowski seems to have picked the right two to hold onto Benintendi and Devers.

        The Sox are playing quite well, it’s nice.

  19. Despite the lower resolution and the time delay, I just switched from the broadcast on FS1 to the SNLA broadcast on MLB.tv. Dick Enberg and Kirk Gibson were putting me to sleep.

  20. I think this is the beginning of the Chris Taylor in CF ERA. I think he is the best CF on the team, but he will also play 2B.

  21. I agree Mark. He’s on a learning curve and make a mistake trying to throw out the runner at 3rd when his throw should’ve been to 2nd (Ryu was pointing to 2nd) putting 2 runners in scoring position. He’s going to make mistakes but unlike some, he will learn from it.

    1. Fulmer seems to be cruising so far but the game is young and we have proven countless times this season that we will find a way to win.

  22. Well, it is like I said, Bellinger should have stayed at 1st. Now he is injured from playing in right field. What a stupid move.

        1. So, Cody can’t get injured at 1B? OK, he’s impervious to injury there? You might want to re-think (think) that.

  23. Looks to me that Cody in treading a little gingerly in the outfield. Maybe they should just take him out.

  24. I would not be a bit surprised to see Cody end up on the DL for 10 days so they won’t have to decide who plays.

    1. The point was never whether or not the Dodgers had a big enough lead or had enough depth. It was whether or not he should play 1st base. He had no business in right field. When he played outfield it was in left. Remember? Now with his injury I expect him to miss some games he would not have missed.

  25. Discretion is the better part of valor. Give Cody as much time as he requires, and then some.

    I also couldn’t understand why Cody was left in right field after the injury, only be removed when he came up to hit in the next half inning. If the plan was to take him out after the Tigers were out, then there was no reason to leave him in before that. Puig should have immediately been dispatched to right field before the Dodgers came to bat. Makes absolutely no sense to me why Cody wasn’t removed immediately. The Dodgers have a virtually insurmountable lead of 19.5 games. Why take any risk at all, even if you think it’s infinitesimal?

    1. I am not a Doctor (though I do play one on the internet), however, I have extensive experience in spraining my ankles… eventually tearing all the ligament in one. Except for the time I tore the ligaments (when I could not even pretend to walk), it seems to me that it was good to “walk it off” before icing it. Maybe there is a correlation. The fact that he could walk tells me that it was not serious.

      Can they “replace” ankles? Mine are killing me.

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