The Dodgers got some good news today as Cody Bellinger and Zach McKinstry have both re-joined the team from the injured list, per MLB.com’s Juan Toribio (via Twitter). DJ Peters and Sheldon Neuse have been optioned to Triple-A to create the necessary roster space.
Bellinger has been out for all but four games of the 2021 season. He suffered a stress fracture of his fibula in the first week of the season. The former MVP had just 21 plate appearances before hitting the injured list. With his return, Chris Taylor can return to a super-utility role.
While the Dodgers are no doubt thrilled to get Bellinger back in the lineup, they haven’t missed a step with Taylor in Bellinger’s place: Taylor has posted a 146 wRC+ this season. The reverberant effects, however, have left the Dodgers a little short-handed at times, leading to the signing of Albert Pujols and continued use of Max Muncy at second base. Muncy has continued to prove himself capable at the keystone. Regardless, the Dodgers will enjoy the options available to them now that Taylor is once again freed up to move around the diamond.
McKinstry, 26, had been perhaps the story of the season for the Dodgers before he, too, went down with an injury. The infielder/outfielder was slashing .296/.328/.556 before landing on the injured list with an oblique strain.
On the whole, the Dodgers have had to flex their tremendous depth early on this season. They’ve done so successfully. With McKinstry and Bellinger back in the fold, they again appear to have perhaps the deepest and most versatile collection of position players in the game.
Peters, 25, will benefit from more regular playing time as he returns to Triple-A. In 34 plate appearances with the parent club, Peters hit .192/.382/.385, good for a 96 wRC+. Neuse, 26, has yet to figure it out at the dish this season, posting a 47 wRC+. Both players figure to find their way back to the bigs at some point this season.