Bellinger has been able to take swings in a batting cage twice per week during MLB's hiatus, he stated in an interview with John Hartung of Spectrum Sportsnet LA. In addition to the twice-per-week batting sessions with hitting coach Brant Brown, Bellinger has also been working out in an Arizona gym with teammate Enrique Hernandez. The reigning National League MVP indicated that he is "down for whatever" in terms of rumored plans to restart the season. Bellinger slashed .250/.280/.500 with one home run and four RBI in Cactus League play before spring training was suspended.
Bellinger will be the Dodgers' everyday center fielder in 2020, but he will spend some time at first base as well, Cary Osborne of Dodger Insider reports. Bellinger is no stranger to first base -- he played all or part of 36 games there last season. While the reigning National League MVP spent most of his time (115 games) in right field last season, he'll shift primarily to center field (where he logged 25 appearances in 2019) in 2020 while Mookie Betts takes over in right. Still, manager Dave Roberts indicated during spring training that Bellinger will continue to spend some time at first base during the upcoming campaign, which could be a boon to fantasy managers if he is able to play the position enough to maintain eligibility there.
Bellinger hinted at an interest in playing for Team USA in the 2021 World Baseball Classic via his Twitter account last week. After Marcus Stroman listed Bellinger among a number of players he'd like to see play for Team USA, the reigning National League MVP responded "Let's get it!!" in an apparent display of interest. Though a spot on the team would not interfere with Bellinger's regular season -- the World Baseball Classic is scheduled for March 9-23, 2021 -- he would likely look to garner the consent of the Dodgers organization in order to participate.
Bellinger was originally part of Sunday's Cactus League lineup but was removed due to a scheduling mix up, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports. Fortunately, the scratch had nothing to do with Bellinger's early-week minor back issue as his inclusion in the original lineup was merely an oversight by manager Dave Roberts. The reigning National League MVP hit his first spring home run Saturday and is slated to start the Dodgers' next Cactus League contest.
Bellinger went 1-for-3 with a solo home run in Thursday's Cactus League contest against Oakland. Bellinger sat out a few days with what he described as "a knot" in his back, but he downplayed the issue from the start and verified that he is fine by hitting a long home run to center field in the sixth inning Thursday. The 2019 NL MVP has gone 5-for-16 with one home run and four RBI in seven spring contests.