Dodgers News: Cody Bellinger Exits vs. Reds with Apparent Knee Injury

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistApril 16, 2019

Los Angeles Dodgers' Cody Bellinger watches the flight of his two-run home run during the fourth inning of a tiebreaker baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Monday, Oct. 1, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger left Monday's game against the Cincinnati Reds after getting hit by a pitch in the bottom of the third inning.

Bellinger took a 95 mph fastball to his right knee from Reds starter Luis Castillo. Alex Verdugo replaced him in right field for the start of the fourth, per Alanna Rizzo of SportsNet LA.

Bellinger made a trip to the disabled list in 2017 due to an ankle injury but appeared in all 162 regular-season games last year.

One year after setting the National League rookie record for home runs (39) en route to earning the 2017 National League Rookie of the Year and an All-Star selection, Bellinger took a slight step back in 2018. He hit .260/.343/.470 with 25 home runs, 28 doubles, seven triples and 76 RBI. Although those numbers were still more than respectable, they weren't quite as prolific as the ones he posted during his rookie campaign.

This year, the 23-year-old Bellinger is off to a blistering start. He was batting .424 with nine home runs, 22 RBI and a .909 slugging percentage entering Monday night.

An active offseason saw the Dodgers' outfield undergo a makeover. Gone are Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp. Former All-Star and Gold Glover A.J. Pollock was brought in to patrol center field.

If Bellinger misses time, Verdugo and Chris Taylor are among L.A.'s internal options to fill in in right field. Max Muncy and David Freese would bear a bigger responsibility to hold down first base in the meantime.

While losing Bellinger would remove an impact bat from the lineup, the Dodgers have enough depth to overcome his absence. With Muncy, Pollock, Corey Seager, Justin Turner and Joc Pederson, there is more than enough firepower still available to Dave Roberts.

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