SAN FRANCISCO – Off to a 9-11 start that includes six losses in their past eight games, the Dodgers will ask their top-rated prospects to help them turn things around.
Left-hander Julio Urias has joined the team in San Francisco and will make his 2017 big-league debut Thursday against the San Francisco Giants. And the organization’s top-rated position player prospect, first baseman-outfielder Cody Bellinger, will join him.
Bellinger has been recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City and will be added to the Dodgers’ roster before Tuesday night’s game against the Giants. Bellinger, 21, is a left-handed hitter and so is not likely to be in the starting lineup against Giants left-hander Ty Blach.
Bellinger spent spring training in big-league camp, working extensively with Dodgers coach George Lombard on his outfield defense. Considered a future Gold Glove candidate at first base, Bellinger also plays the outfield and saw that as his most direct route to the major leagues this year. He could replace Andrew Toles (batting .220 with a .278 on-base percentage) as the left-handed half of the Dodgers’ left field platoon.
“Yeah, obviously I think that’s the ticket to the big leagues,” Bellinger said during the Freeway Series. “And obviously, the more positions you can play the better – for now and the future. So I’m all for it. It only helps the player and helps the team if you can play multiple positions waiting for a spot to open up.”
Bellinger did not hit well during the Cactus League schedule, but has torn up Pacific Coast League pitching since the start of the regular season. He was 23 for 67 (.343) with nine extra-base hits (four doubles, five home runs) and a 1.055 OPS in 18 games for the OKC Dodgers.
“Offensively, it obviously wasn’t what I wanted,” he said as spring training concluded. “But I’m not worried one bit and I know they’re not worried one bit. From day one to now where I’m at, it’s going to be a fun year.”
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