Dodgers' Bellinger: Even when I'm not good, I'm still really good
Cody Bellinger does not want to platoon anymore with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Bellinger had his ups and downs last season as he failed to record a hit for the first three games of the year, batted .180 in the month of May and was benched for not hustling in April.
But when all was said and done, he followed up a rookie-of-the-year campaign with a .260 batting average, 25 home runs, 76 RBIs and 84 runs scored.
"I should be in the lineup every single day," Bellinger told The Athletic. "I don't think there's a question about that. Even when I'm not good, I'm still really good."
"It's very promising because of how sh**** I felt," Bellinger added. "If that's my lowest it's gonna go, well, f***."
The Dodgers have made a living off getting young players rest and keeping them out of games when they have a less-than-favourable matchup. Bellinger had trouble against lefties last season – he hit .226 against southpaws for the year – but he has shown an ability to go lefty on lefty in the past.
As a rookie he actually had a better batting average against lefties than righties (.271 to .265) and he posted similar splits in the minors in 2014 and 2016.
But last season he did not produce as well against lefties and saw the bench in key games against southpaws, including in the postseason against the Boston Red Sox.
"We had to win games, and I understood that," Bellinger said. "I obviously didn't like that, but what was best for the team at the time might've been that. We never really know. It was just an unfortunate situation for me because I know I would be an everyday player on every other team."
This year, Bellinger wants to avoid a situation like that.
"I'm gonna help the team win on offense, defense, baserunning, because I can do it all," Bellinger said. "But I can't do it off the bench. And they know that."