Cody Bellinger is Healthy, Getting to Work in Arizona, and Mostly Guiding His Own Process

Early arrivals in Arizona for Spring Training are at all times enjoyable to notice, though with the arrival of stellar coaching amenities mixed with year-round coaching, the road between “early reporting” and “simply kinda at all times figuring out right here” will get somewhat fuzzy.

For instance, new Chicago Cubs heart fielder Cody Bellinger lives in Arizona – or not less than he did as of late final season – so do we actually get to rejoice an early reporting if he is now figuring out on the Cubs’ amenities in Mesa, Arizona?

I say sure! We do! Anyway, Bellinger is getting to work:

On a extra substantive notice, I used to be to be taught extra about what the Cubs had deliberate for Bellinger in January, February, and March, as he ramps up not just for his first season with the workforce and an essential platform 12 months, but in addition as he tries to get himself proper for the primary time in a couple of seasons.

It sounds just like the plan is principally to simply attempt to assist across the margins, and most like Bellinger – who has clearly had great success earlier in his profession – information the work.

Via The Athletic:

The Cubs are largely permitting Bellinger to run the present together with his work this offseason. That doesn’t suggest they don’t seem to be giving him any steering. It’s simply that they are being cautious not to inundate him with data. The first key, they consider, is his feeling totally assured in his well being. He has suffered vital accidents to his proper shoulder and his left leg in the final three years.

If Bellinger trusts his physique is proper — which all indications are that he does — then he can transfer how he wants to. Although the Cubs don’t need to dwell on it an excessive amount of, that motion has been a problem over the previous few years. The Cubs are engaged on a couple of tiny changes with Bellinger to attempt to get him again to the place he was when he was at his finest. Primarily, the main target is on his again hip, his total setup on the plate and his hand peak. If it really works, the adjustments will not be dramatic, however maybe noticeable to the keener eye.”

Bellinger has been working with new Cubs hitting coach Dustin Kelly, who was beforehand in the Dodgers’ group when Bellinger was first breaking into the large leagues. Again, it feels like Bellinger is main the method, however Kelly is one thing of a sounding board.

I’m a fan of this method for a man like Bellinger, who has been nice earlier than, whose offensive sport suffered primarily due to accidents and the ensuing mechanical issues, and who you are not likely attempting to “subsequent stage.” You’re simply attempting to be there to assist him in his personal course of to get again to no matter the very best model is that he may be now. It’s not likely the identical factor as working with a youthful prospect who is nonetheless attempting to discover his finest path towards dealing with huge league pitching, or is attempting to maximize his energy manufacturing.

Notably, if Bellinger can merely maintain shifting ahead as he did after the preliminary shoulder damage, he ought to see progress this season. Consider that, from 2021 to 2022, Bellinger’s numbers took an enormous leap, as famous at FanGraphs:

Sure, a variety of the most important leaping there is as a result of he was ranging from a spot of “oh my candy lord critically what occurred to you dude,” and nobody ought to attempt to persuade you that these 2022 numbers are good. They’re not. They’re dangerous. But, hey, I feel we will dream on one other step ahead for the 27-year-old this 12 months, additional away from the shoulder and leg accidents, in a brand new group, and with quite a bit to show on a one-year pillow contract .

We’ve stated it a dozen instances, however I’ll say it once more: thanks to his protection in heart discipline (and at first base, when vital), Cody Bellinger does not HAVE TO be an above-average participant on the plate to have worth. Even if he can simply get the general manufacturing again to league common, he is going to method 3.0 WAR if he is wholesome and if the protection is nearly as good as at all times. I do not know that I might wager on it undoubtedly taking place, but it surely is actually sensible.

Shift restrictions coming into play this 12 months determine to assist Bellinger on the margins, too, as a lefty slugger:

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