Jim Bowden goes bold
In a recent ESPN insider column, Jim Bowden predicted that Cody Bellinger would be the Dodgers starting left fielder. This led to some twitter ridicule but to be fair the headline for the column is “Bold Spring Training Predictions” so the predictions are supposed to be outside the lines. If your bold predictions don’t get mocked you didn’t go bold.
Just how silly was that prediction? If the Dodgers wanted to field the best team from the get go, maybe he should be? He won’t be but by the end of spring training, it might be clear that the best left fielder in the Dodger system goes by the name of Cody Bellinger.
Sure the Dodger outfield depth is Puig/Joc/Andre/Toles/Thompson/Gutierrez/SVS/Ruf/Hernandez but it would not be hard to make a case that Cody Bellinger on April 1st would be the 3rd best outfielder on the team.
Remember last year, Andre didn’t even get out of spring training. Thompson won’t be ready by April 1st. Hernandez might not even make the team. Gutierrez will be playing against left-handers in either RF/CF/LF. Ruf may not make the team. SVS may not make the team.
The competitions to face right-handed pitching are Andre and Toles. Andre is the fading starter coming off a mere broken bone that kept him out for 90% of the 2016 season. How much would it take to simply put him down for few weeks? Toles is the young bright star but is his star brighter than Bellinger?
Am I simply blowing hot air about Bellinger? Dips agree that Bellinger is the best offensive solution for left field.
This is one bold prediction by a baseball pundit that I won’t be mocking because injuries happen and by my count, Bellinger is 3rd on the depth chart to face right hand pitching.
Is Bellinger ready to play every day against all sorts of pitching? Probably not, but is it laughable that he might be? probably not.