Bellinger will no longer play first base

Dodgers to keep slugger in outfield to protect his left shoulder

May 7th, 2019

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers slugger returned to the starting lineup on Monday night, but manager Dave Roberts said Bellinger will be an outfielder going forward after suffering a slight dislocation of his right shoulder diving for a ball while playing first base on Friday night.

Bellinger, who throws left-handed, remained in that game and doubled, but he was out of the lineup Saturday and struck out as a pinch-hitter on Sunday. The shoulder also briefly popped out of socket last year.

“It’s happened a couple of times, but Cody said he feels good,” said Roberts. “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.”

With center fielder A.J. Pollock out indefinitely with a staph infection of his right elbow, Roberts started Bellinger in right field and Alex Verdugo in center field against Atlanta right-hander Kevin Gausman.

Worth noting

• Roberts said the Dodgers will work newly signed Travis d’Arnaud at first base and left field to provide the catcher with more versatility. Roberts said the Dodgers signed d’Arnaud as a third catcher so they can use Russell Martin and Austin Barnes as a right-handed bats off the bench when they aren't starting behind the plate.

“A little bit of trial by fire,” Roberts said. “See how he looks taking grounders and taking balls off the bat in the outfield. In the near-term I don’t see him starting a game there, but just to make him feel a little more comfortable if it happens. He said he’s most comfortable at third base, but we have a lot of third basemen.”