Cody Bellinger to compete in home run derby after firefighters come to ‘rescue’
Never has Cody Bellinger been happier to provide a few autographs.
Bellinger said Tuesday he would sign some bats and balls for the firefighters who have agreed to cover his father’s work shifts next week. Bellinger accepted an invitation to compete in Monday’s home run derby, but not until he knew his father Clay would be able to skip work in Arizona and pitch to him in Miami.
In the meantime, Bellinger had a message for the good people of Gilbert, Ariz., whose fire department will be down one man next week.
“Don’t burn anything down,” he said with a smile.
Bellinger, the National League home run leader, called his decision to participate a “no-brainer” and said he would have done so even if he had not been selected for the All-Star game.
He said he has no concerns about the derby affecting his swing, since he does most of his pregame preparation in the batting cage rather than in the on-field batting practice that resembles the derby.
“To me, there’s no correlation between BP and the game,” he said.
He said teammates Joc Pederson and Corey Seager, each of whom competed in a previous derby, had encouraged him to take part.
“It could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Bellinger said. “You never know.”
DL du jour
With pitcher Brandon McCarthy ready to come off the disabled list for the second time this season, the Dodgers put pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu on the disabled list for the second time this season.
Ryu’s left foot was bruised by a comebacker last Wednesday. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said X-rays and a bone scan had ruled out a fracture.
“Still, there is some pain in there,” Roberts said.
The Dodgers put McCarthy on the disabled list last week after his shortest start of the season, a three-inning outing in which he walked two and threw three wild pitches in one of the innings. In putting him on the disabled list, the Dodgers cited knee tendinitis, a condition with which he has pitched for much of the season.
With McCarthy not scheduled to be activated until Saturday, the Dodgers added an extra arm in the interim by recalling reliever Ross Stripling from triple-A Oklahoma City.
Follow Bill Shaikin on Twitter @BillShaikin
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