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Dodgers move Cody Bellinger off first base due to ailing shoulder

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Cody Bellinger returned to the Dodgers’ lineup on Monday night against the Braves, playing right field rather than first base. That will be the case going forward, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports, due to Bellinger’s ailing right shoulder. Bellinger partially dislocated his right (non-throwing) shoulder on Friday night diving for a ball. Presumably, Bellinger is less likely to exacerbate his shoulder injury in the outfield than at first base.

Manager Dave Roberts said, “I do think, going forward, him being an outfielder makes the most sense. Being at first base, a potential dive, we’ll see how that goes as time goes by.”

Bellinger, 23, is no stranger to the outfield. He’s logged 1,072 defensive innings there since 2017, compared to 1,616 1/3 innings at first base and has played in the outfield more often this year.

The Dodgers understandably want to do anything they can to keep Bellinger’s bat in the lineup, as he entered Monday’s action batting .412/.486/.840 with 14 home runs, 38 RBI, and 32 runs scored in 142 plate appearances. He leads all of baseball in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS (1.326), adjusted OPS (248), total bases (100), RBI, runs scored, and hits (49).

Larry Walker to wear a Rockies cap on his Hall of Fame plaque

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I guess this came out the day he was elected but I missed it somehow: Larry Walker is going to have a Rockies cap on his Fall of Fame plaque.

While it was once solely the choice of the inductee, for the past couple of decades the Hall of Fame has had final say on the caps, though the request of the inductee is noted. This is done to prevent a situation in which a cap truly misrepresents history. This issue arose around the time Wade Boggs was inducted, as he reportedly had a deal with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to pick their cap on his plaque which, to say the least, would’ve been unrepresentative.

There have been some mildly controversial picks in the past, and some guys who would seem to have a clear choice have gone with blank caps to avoid upsetting the fan base of one of his other teams, but Walker’s doesn’t seem all that controversial to me.

Walker played ten years in Colorado to six years in Montreal and two years in St. Louis. His numbers in Colorado were substantial better than in Montreal. His MVP Award, most of his Gold Gloves, most of his All-Star appearances, and all of his black ink with the exception of the NL doubles title in 1994 came with the Rockies too. Walker requested the Rockies cap, noting correctly that he “did more damage” in a Rockies uniform than anyplace else. And, of course, that damage is what got him elected to the Hall of Fame.

Still, I imagine fans of the old Expos will take at least some issue here. Those folks tend to be pretty possessive of their team’s old stars. It’s understandable, I suppose, given that they’ve not gotten any new ones in a decade or two. Add in the fact that Walker played for the 1994 Expos team onto which people love to project things both reasonable and unreasonable, and you can expect that the Expos dead-enders might feel a bit slighted.

Welp, sorry. A Rockies cap is the right choice.  And that’s Walker’s cap will feature.