No structural damage, but Belli's return TBD

Taylor also on the mend; Mookie gets a look in center

April 7th, 2021

After exiting Monday’s game against the A’s and sitting out on Tuesday, there's a chance Dodgers star outfielder ends up getting placed on the 10-day injured list with a calf issue.

Bellinger was removed from Monday's game in the ninth inning after a collision at first base with A’s pitcher Reymin Guduan. As he hustled down the first-base line to try and leg out an infield single, Bellinger was cleated in the calf area by Guduan, who had raced over to first base trying to beat Bellinger to the bag. The team considered him day to day, but the outfielder underwent more tests on Tuesday to determine the severity of the injury.

After undergoing those tests, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said there was no stress fracture or structural damage. Bellinger will be unavailable again on Wednesday, according to Roberts. An IL stint is not out of the question. 

“I don’t know what we’re going to do as far as IL, no IL, but I think right now, I think we’re in a decent spot,” Roberts said. “But even with that, I just don’t know when a return will be. … I think each day we’re going to know more.”

As for utility man Chris Taylor, he suffered a left elbow contusion after being hit by a Frankie Montas fastball in the third inning of Monday’s game. He initially stayed in the game and came around on a wild pitch, but was taken out of the game in the bottom half of the frame.

Taylor didn’t play on Tuesday, but was available to pinch run or come in late into the game as a defensive replacement. He wasn’t available to hit. It’s uncertain if he’ll be in the lineup on Wednesday.

If Bellinger is forced to miss time, Taylor would be the immediate replacement at center field, given he’s healthy. Zach McKinstry and , who started at center field and homered in Tuesday’s 5-1 win over the A’s, could also be options. 

Bellinger is 4-for-19 with two RBIs in four games this season. 

Betts' CF debut (for Dodgers)
With Bellinger and Taylor out of the lineup, the Dodgers started Betts in center field on Tuesday -- his first start for the club in that position. He played two innings at the position last season and played 17 games in center with the Red Sox in 2019.

“He’s done it before,” Roberts said. “I just feel with Clayton [Kershaw], most of the action is going to be out in left field and center field. So to have him willing to go out there in center field and put [Zach] McKinstry in right field, makes sense for tonight’s ballgame. You essentially lose, for tonight’s game, two center fielders with Cody and Chris, and in my opinion, Mookie is the next best option.”