by Rowan Kavner
After undergoing right shoulder surgery late last year, it’s the left side of Cody Bellinger’s body wreaking havoc in 2021.
The Dodger outfielder played through his latest ailment for three games last week, but a non-displaced rib fracture on his left side forced him to the injured list Tuesday. It’s his third stint on the IL this season.
Bellinger missed nearly two months with a hairline fracture in his left leg and 10 games with left hamstring tightness earlier this year. Both of those issues occurred in the season’s first half, making it difficult for the former 2019 National League MVP to find his rhythm in 2021. He is batting .159/.237/.291 with nine home runs in 89 games this year.
With his latest injury, Bellinger missed his third straight game before the Dodgers decided to place him on the IL.
“He’s obviously frustrated that it’s something else he’s got to deal with, but we’re going to deal with it together and just try to get him feeling as good as possible so he can help us win ballgames,” said manager Dave Roberts.
Roberts initially hoped the rib fracture, which occurred in a seemingly minor outfield collision with Gavin Lux last week, was something Bellinger could play through per his pain tolerance. But the pain never dissipated, and Bellinger was a late scratch Tuesday.
“In talking to him, even after the off day, it’s still not kind of where it needs to be,” Roberts said.
The Dodgers flew Luke Raley in from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Monday to have coverage in Denver in case Bellinger was unable to go. Raley was recalled for his sixth stint with the club and starting in right field Tuesday night. He was batting .295/.394/.579 with 18 home runs in 67 games with Oklahoma City this year.
The Dodgers are likely to get some additional outfield help before the end of their series against the Rockies. AJ Pollock, who is currently rehabbing from a right hamstring strain in Arizona, is expected to travel to Denver on Wednesday and be activated Thursday.
Bellinger was placed on the injured list retroactive to Sept. 18, making him eligible to return Tuesday with six games remaining in the regular season.
“It’s not ideal, but neither is being in too much pain to feel you can perform at a certain level,” Roberts said.
Injury Update: Cody Bellinger’s rib fracture sends him to injured list was originally published in Dodger Insider on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.