Cody Bellinger
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Cody Bellinger off to historic start in 2019

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Cody Bellinger isn’t just off to a hot start this season — he’s off to one of the hottest starts we’ve seen from any player in MLB history. On Friday night, the Dodgers’ slugger approached his eighth game of 2019 with a league-leading five home runs and 13 RBI. By the time the club wrapped their 10-6 win over the Rockies, Bellinger had six home runs and 16 RBI. According to MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick, that’s the most any player has collected in the first eight games of a season since Alex Rodriguez and Eddie Mathews went on similar tears for the 2007 Yankees and 1953 Braves, respectively.

Bellinger went yard in the fifth inning of Friday’s game, pinpointing a 90-m.p.h. fastball from Tyler Anderson and launching it back out to the right field bullpen for a three-run homer to put the Dodgers up 6-1. He’s building on an impressive follow-up to last year’s campaign, during which he slashed .260/.343/.470 with 25 homers, an .814 OPS, and 3.6 fWAR through 632 plate appearances and a full 162 games.

The 23-year-old outfielder isn’t the only one who’s been mashing home runs for the Dodgers these days, either. Max Muncy engineered a solo home run in the fourth inning, while Russell Martin waited until the sixth to take Carlos Estévez deep for his first homer of the 2019 season. Collectively, the Dodgers rank first in the National League with 21 home runs through their first eight games, tied with the Mariners for most in MLB.

Nationals sign George Kontos to minors deal

George Kontos
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The Nationals selected the contract of reliever George Kontos from the Atlantic League Long Island Ducks, per an official announcement on Saturday. The right-hander has been assigned to Triple-A Fresno, but could still make his season debut sometime before the first half of the season draws to a close.

Kontos, 33, hasn’t pitched in the majors since he took a handful of back-to-back-to-back gigs with the Pirates, Indians, and Yankees in 2018. He inked a minor league pact with the Cubs over the offseason, but failed to break camp with the team and was subsequently released in mid-April. He turned in seven strong innings for the Ducks since then, allowing one run and one walk and striking out six of 27 batters in six appearances.

Last year, the veteran reliever posted a combined 4.39 ERA, 2.4 BB/9, and 5.1 SO/9 over 26 2/3 innings. While he hasn’t pitched anywhere close to his career-best numbers in four years, he may still provide some valuable depth for the club, whose bullpen ranks 10th best in the league with a cumulative 4.59 ERA and 5.9 fWAR so far in 2019.