Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Cody Bellinger Homers in First Game Back from IL


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Oh how we’ve missed Cody Bellinger. The left-handed hitter was activated from the IL on Tuesday and in his first game back with the Cubs Bellinger homered to give his team a 1-0 lead over the San Diego Padres.

The offense has been sluggish for the past few weeks, so hopefully Bellinger can give them a boost while the team awaits the return of Seiya Suzuki later this week as well. Bellinger now has a nine-game hitting streak following his solo home run against the Padres.

Bellinger was placed on the injured list with fractured ribs after colliding with the outfield wall against the Houston Astros at Wrigley Field on April 23. He didn’t need a rehab assignment and instead the Cubs are easing Bellinger back into game action with the plan being to start him at DH for a bit before he goes back to starting in the outfield.

Prior to Tuesday’s game, Bellinger said he still wasn’t pain free.

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Via the Chicago Tribune.

Bellinger, though, isn’t fully pain free, which takes a bit of time with this type of injury. That was not enough of a hindrance to delay his return, however.

Bellinger is expected to be the designated hitter Tuesday and Wednesday against the San Diego Padres ahead of Thursday’s off day and will further assess how he feels before playing a game in the outfield.

“It’s a matter of pain tolerance,” Bellinger said Tuesday. “And I feel like I’m in a pretty good spot with it.”

You could see that Bellinger’s timing was still a bit off in his first at bat Tuesday night against right-handed starting pitcher Randy Vasquez. At the same time, it was an impressive first plate appearance coming back from two weeks of not playing. Bellinger fouled off six consecutive pitches on a 2-2 count before flying out on the 12th pitch of the at-bat. And then he followed up with his sixth home run of the season.

Bellinger now has an .800 OPS on the season after the home run, raising it nearly 240 points since the Seattle Mariners series in the middle of April.

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