Cody Bellinger, one of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ central catalysts, has landed on the injured list for the second time this year.
This time, his stint will probably be a lot shorter.
Bellinger, who missed 46 games earlier this season with a hairline fracture in his leg, was placed on the IL on Tuesday because of lingering tightness in his left hamstring. Bellinger first suffered the injury on Saturday and hadn’t played since, prompting the team to make the move to free up an additional roster spot.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the “hope” is that Bellinger won’t miss more than the required 10 days, which would put him in line to return next Tuesday for the middle game of a three-game series against the crosstown rival San Diego Padres.
Roberts described placing him back on the IL as an attempt to keep his hamstring issue from prolonging.
“We just felt that as we got together with the training staff and Cody to take it out of everyone’s hands, rip the Band-Aid off and get him back to health,” Roberts said after the Dodgers’ 5-3 win over Philadelphia on Tuesday night. “We are going to need him the rest of the way, and we need him healthy.”
Bellinger, the 2019 National League MVP, was batting only .233/.340/.302 since returning from his prior stint on the IL but was seemingly starting to turn the corner before suffering another setback.
The Dodgers are also without Max Muncy, who went on the IL on Saturday because of an oblique strain but is also hoping to return in short order. The absences of Muncy and Bellinger have prompted extended playing time for Zach McKinstry, Matt Beaty and Albert Pujols, the latter of whom is batting .273/.314/.530 with five home runs in his first 70 plate appearances with the Dodgers.
“We’re gonna need him the rest of the way,” Roberts said, “and we need him healthy.”