It’s almost a month, and what’s the MVP doing who’s going to be a free agent in a year?

A star player who was in the media a lot at the start of the season has gone quiet. When will he return?

We’re talking about Chicago Cubs outfielder Cody Bellinger.

Bellinger was last out of the lineup on April 16 against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. While playing defense in the bottom of the seventh inning, he caught a Kyle Tucker line drive to deep right-center field, diving for the fence and landing on his left knee, causing a bone bruise.

Bellinger was placed on the disabled list (IL) the next day and was expected to return in 10 days, but the pain flared up when he ran, prolonging his rehab. It’s been 24 days since he went on the DL. In terms of games played, Bellinger will miss his 25th game of the season on Sept. 9 against the Los Angeles Angels. Bellinger was previously away from the team for four days on April 26 when his wife gave birth to their second daughter.

He is now in full rehabilitation mode. Cubs president Jed Hoyer told on Monday, “Bellinger will begin a minor league rehab assignment shortly. “It’s been a while since he’s been off the field,” Hoyer said, adding, “Mentally, he needs rehab games. Mentally, he needs a rehab game.”

Bellinger, who is moving with the team, began combining batting practice with running and agility work in San Diego on March 3. “I don’t think it’s feasible for me to come back after this trip,” Bellinger said in an interview on May 5. The Cubs wrap up their 10-game road trip on April 12 against the San Francisco Giants.

If he begins a minor league rehab assignment as planned, he could return later this month.

In 37 games before going on the DL, Bellinger was batting .271 (39-for-155) with seven home runs, 20 RBI, 29 runs scored, nine doubles and an OPS of .830. It’s not quite the 2019 level that earned him MVP honors, but it’s a far cry from the form that saw him bottom out over the last three years.

Bellinger won the NL MVP in 2019 after 메이저사이트 hitting .305 with 47 home runs, 115 RBIs, and a 1.035 OPS in 156 games for the Los Angeles Dodgers. At the time, the general consensus in the local media was that Bellinger would become the highest-paid player of all time when he hit free agency.

However, his decline began in 2020 and didn’t end until last year. The final straw for Bellinger came in Game 7 of the 2020 NL Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves.

With the score tied 3-3 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Bellinger hit a grand slam to give his team a 4-3 victory, but his home run celebration was too aggressive and he injured his shoulder. He underwent surgery that winter, and the aftermath followed. In 2021, he played in just 95 games with three IL stints. He finished with a dismal .165 batting average and .542 OPS.

Last year, with no major injuries, he again fell well short of expectations, hitting .210 with 19 homers and a .654 OPS in 144 games. In the postseason, he was often pinch-hit or left out of the starting lineup in crucial situations. His adjusted wRC+ over the two seasons in 2021 and 2022 was 69, well below league average.

The Dodgers eventually released Bellinger as a non-tender last winter. They told him he was free to sign elsewhere, but when he hit the free agent market, teams were surprisingly generous. According to his agent, Scott Boras, several teams offered him long-term deals of two years or more. But Bellinger signed a one-year, $17.5 million deal with the Cubs, with a player-owner option for 2024. If he’s confident, he can waive the option and hit the free agent market again.

Boras structured this contract. In other words, he wanted to redeem himself this year and then hit the free agency jackpot.

Things were going well until mid-May. We don’t know if he’ll be able to bounce back from a month or more on the sidelines, but we can’t really blame him for getting hurt trying to play hard.

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