Getty Images

Cody Bellinger’s star is shining in Los Angeles. For now.

8 Comments

Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger has burst onto the scene in his first eight games in the bigs. He’s 10 for his first 29 with two homers, a double and a triple. He’s walked three times and he’s driven in 5. Last night he was one of the Dodgers many offensive heroes, going 2-for-4 with a triple, two runs scored, and three RBI. This after an age-20 minor league season in which he hit 26 homers in 117 games in Double-A and Triple-A, where the competition tends to be far older.

Even with that production, it’s hard for someone so young to make his mark on a veteran-laden major league club. As such, there’s a very good chance that the young outfielder’s days in the bigs are numbered. At least for now.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters last week that Bellinger would return to Triple-A Oklahoma City once Franklin Gutierrez recovered from his hamstring injury and Joc Pederson, who has a groin injury, came off the disabled list. Gutierrez is back (and homered last night). Pederson is due to be activated on Friday. That will likely leave no place for Bellinger, despite the fact that Roberts praised him effusively last night, saying that Bellinger has “done everything he can” to stick around in the majors. Such is the lot of a 21-year-old with options who plays for a contender.

There is one thing worth watching, however, which could give Bellinger a bit more time in the show: Adrian Gonzalez‘s forearm.

Gonzalez has been bothered by a sore forearm all year and he was held out of the starting lineup last night (he did pinch hit and hit an RBI single). There was speculation that he may sit again for tonight’s game against the Giants  If Gonzalez is fine, the Dodgers will likely send Bellinger back to Oklahoma City when Pederson is activated. But if he isn’t fine — and if the Dodgers, who have won seven of 10 want to give him some extra rest to ensure he’s good later in the season — they could DL Gonzalez and allow Bellinger to cover first base for ten more days.

Probably not likely. Gonzalez is not one who takes much time off nor does he seem to like to. And, obviously, no one wants a player to be injured, even to make room for another player. But when you get a ton of enjoyment from watching young stars shine, you try to construct scenarios that allow them to shine a little longer.

So, nothing personal, Adrian, but if you want to take a little break to get your strength back up, we’d all totally understand.

Jeff Wilpon reminds Mets fans that insuring David Wright “is not cheap”

Getty Images
4 Comments

It’s can’t be easy being a Mets fan. Your team plays in the biggest city in America and should, theoretically, have big payrolls and always be in contention. They aren’t, however, partially because of horrendous luck and ill-timed injuries, partially because of poor baseball decisions and partially because the team’s ownership got taken down by a Ponzi scheme that, one would think anyway, sophisticated businessmen would recognize as a Ponzi scheme. We’ll leave that go, though.

What Mets fans are left with are (a) occasional windows of contention, such as we saw in 2014-16; (b) times of frustrating austerity on the part of ownership when, one would hope anyway, some money would be spent; (c) an inordinate focus on tabloidy and scandalous nonsense which just always seems to surround the club; and (c) a lot of disappointment.

You can file this latest bit under any of or many of the above categories, but it is uniquely Mets.

Team president Jeff Wilpon spoke to the press this afternoon about team payroll. In talking about payroll, David Wright‘s salary was included despite the fact that he may never play again and despite the fact that insurance is picking up most of the tab. Wilpon’s comment:

I’m guessing every team has a line item, someplace, about the costs of insurance. They’re businesses after all, and all businesses have to deal with that. They do not talk about it as a barrier to spending more money on players to the press, however, as they likely know that fans want to be told a story of hope and baseball-driven decisions heading into a new season and do not want to hear about all of the reasons the club will not spend any money despite sitting in a huge market.

This doesn’t change a thing about what the Mets were going to do or not do, but it does have the added bonus of making Mets fans roll their eyes and ask themselves what they did to deserve these owners. And that, more than almost anything, is the essence of Mets fandom these days.