Getty Images

Just hours before their Friday home opener, the Los Angeles Dodgers placed All-Star outfielder and former NL MVP Cody Bellinger on the 10-day injured list with a left calf contusion. 

The move is retroactive to April 6, which means Bellinger will be eligible to be activated on April 16. Outfielder/first baseman Luke Raley has been recalled from the alternate site to take Bellinger's spot on the active roster. 

Manager Dave Roberts said earlier on Friday that Bellinger's absence isn't expected to be a lengthy one. He initially sustained the injury on Monday, when Oakland Athletics reliever Reymin Guduan inadvertently stepped on Bellinger while trying to beat him to the first base bag. 

Bellinger, 25, was off to a slow start in 2021, as he's slashing .211/.286/.368 through four games while still searching for his first home run of the season. However, Bellinger's established level is well north of that -- he's got a highly impressive career OPS+ of 140 across parts of five major league seasons -- and will be an important part of the Dodgers' bid to repeat as world champions. 

Featured Game | Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Washington Nationals

Going into the weekend home series against Washington Nationals, the Dodgers will be stretched thin in the outfield. In addition to Bellinger's being out, star right fielder Mookie Betts is also sidelined with back stiffness. Betts' injury has thus far not necessitated a roster move. For Friday's series opener, the Dodgers will start Chris Taylor in center and 25-year-old rookie Zach McKinstry in right against Nats starter Joe Ross.