November 29, 2021

Dodgers: With AJ Pollock to Miss Weeks, Cody Bellinger Steps Back in to Starting Lineup – Dodgers Nation

Give that it’s now September, it definitely wasn’t the best time for a significant injury for the Dodgers. Not to say that any time is a good time. Still, the team seemingly dodged a bullet after losing outfielder AJ Pollock to a hamstring strain last night in San Francisco. Particularly with how he was carried off the field after the injury.

After the game, Dave Roberts revealed that Pollock had suffered a grade 2 strain in his right hamstring. And, while he was hesitant to put a definitive timeline on AJ’s return, he did offer up an early outlook.

I don’t want to speculate, I know that it wasn’t good. It’s a huge loss in any capacity … sort of where we’re at… this is a couple, 2-3 weeks at the minimum. We just gotta see how he feels tomorrow.

Pollock injured his hamstring on an awkward slide into third base that seemed to be an odd play at the time. The 33-year-old has been one of the most consistent bats in the Dodger lineup this season. Over 107 games, he’s hit .297 with 16 home runs and 58 runs batted in while playing mostly left field.

Related: Steven Souza Jr Hilariously Impersonates AJ Pollock

With AJ’s injury comes opportunity on the roster and in the lineup. Roster wise, he’ll head to the injured list later this afternoon with utility man Matt Beaty likely making his return to the active roster. In the lineup, Roberts admitted losing Pollock changes the offensive game plan, but pointed to Cody Bellinger as the go-to man to step in.

It changes the look. He’s a guy you can plug in there every day. Hits right, hits left and drives runs in. Gets on base… he’s just added so much to our ball club. To fill those shoes, it’s gonna be tough but Cody is there for the challenge and we’re gonna need guys to step up around him.

Cody was recently relegated to more of a platoon role after struggling at the plate all season long. While he’s shown glimpses of putting it together at times, it’s often been a far cry from the MVP-worthy play he posted early in 2019. Through the struggles, however, Belli has still played Gold Glove level defense and maintained elite speed on the basepaths… when he can get on.

Losing Pollock hurts pretty bad for the Dodgers. But no club in baseball can simply plug in a former league MVP like LA will. Now it’s up to Cody to take advantage of the opportunity, particularly if he hopes for playing time in October.

NEXT: Roberts Wants Cody Bellinger to Focus on September Production, Not Season Struggles