Dave Roberts benches Cody Bellinger for lack of hustle

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Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger doubled into “triples alley” at AT&T Park in the fifth inning of Sunday afternoon’s game. Had he been hustling, Bellinger could’ve — as the name implies — had a triple. Manager Dave Roberts didn’t like the lack of hustle, so he took Bellinger out of the game, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports.

Roberts said, “There’s certain expectations about the way we play the game. When you don’t abide by that, we’ll get somebody in there who will.” McCullough notes that Roberts spoke with Bellinger previously about his effort.

Here’s the video. Bellinger seemed to think he got enough on the ball for a home run, but he should’ve known better hitting it to that area at AT&T Park.

Bellinger looked even worse by comparison when Gregor Blanco legged out a triple in the bottom half of the fifth. The Dodgers dropped Sunday’s contest 4-2 to the Giants and lost three of four games in the series to their division rival.

On the season, Bellinger is hitting .291/.351/.476 with three home runs, 12 RBI, and 21 runs scored in 114 plate appearances.

The Dodgers continue their road trip on Monday for a four-game set in Arizona followed by three in San Diego. The Giants, meanwhile, finish out their homestand against the Padres before traveling east to play the Braves, Phillies, and Pirates.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.