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Bellinger's first Dodgers stint likely to be short

Special to MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- Great things are expected from Dodgers' No.1 prospect Cody Bellinger, just not this time around.

Bellinger, 21, is typically referred to as first baseman Adrian Gonzalez' heir apparent. But he can also play the outfield, and on Friday night he started his fourth consecutive game in left since being called up Tuesday.

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LOS ANGELES -- Great things are expected from Dodgers' No.1 prospect Cody Bellinger, just not this time around.

Bellinger, 21, is typically referred to as first baseman Adrian Gonzalez' heir apparent. But he can also play the outfield, and on Friday night he started his fourth consecutive game in left since being called up Tuesday.

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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, however, made it clear that Bellinger was here as an injury replacement and would be expected to return to the Minors when regulars Joc Pederson, Franklin Gutierrez and Logan Forsythe are activated from the disabled list, regardless of how well Bellinger hits.

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"Anything is possible, but I think it was more an opportunity to get his feet wet," Roberts said.

Roberts said Pederson (groin strain), Gutierrez (hamstring) and Forsythe (toe fracture) should all return next week and at least be with the team when they open a three-game series in San Diego next Friday.

Bellinger went into Friday's game against the Phillies with one hit in his first 10 at-bats, an infield single. Roberts wasn't ruling out the possibility that Bellinger could stick if he went on an offensive tear.

"I do know he is here because of injury and these guys are coming back," Roberts said. "We'll get Joc, Logan and Franklin back. It was just a good opportunity to get Cody his feet wet. Do I see him coming back here at any other point? Yeah."

Roberts said Gutierrez could return slightly ahead of Pederson and Forsythe, depending on the pitching matchups in their next series against the Giants.

Worth noting

Yasiel Puig was given his first day off of the season on Friday. Roberts said he simply wanted to give him a break.

"It's just nice for a hitter once in a while to get a day off mentally and not have the thought of performing in the night," Roberts said. "He's available off the bench, but hopefully we can stay away from him."

Puig was the only Dodgers player who had started every game.

Corey Seager entered Friday tied with the Tigers' Nicholas Castellanos for the most balls batted with an exit velocity of 95-plus mph at 35. The others in the top six include Manny Machado (34) and  Paul Goldschmidt, Wil Myers and Nelson Cruz (T-33).

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• Left-hander Scott Kazmir (left hip strain) threw a 50-pitch bullpen session and is expected to throw another on Sunday. Roberts wasn't ready to speculate when he might return. 

"How close, I really can't speak to that. He's getting closer."

• Forsythe's progress was encouraging to Roberts. He fractured his right big toe on April 18 and was expected to begin taking batting practice with the team on Saturday.

"Logan's moving around well. The pain is starting to dissipate," Roberts said. "He's taking swings."

Steve Dilbeck is a contributor to MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Cody Bellinger