Chicago Cubs center fielder Cody Bellinger has been sidelined for the past two weeks after suffering a knee injury while making a leaping catch against the Houston Astros. Despite their being initial belief that Bellinger would return to play Friday of that same week, Cubs' general manager Carter Hawkins told MLB Network Radio on Sunday that the veteran center fielder is expected to be out another two weeks at least.
Bellinger had been one of the surprises for the Cubs during their hot start to the season during the month of April. Prior to the injury, Bellinger was slashing .271/.337/.493/.830 with a 121 wRC+. Bellinger has 7 home runs on the season but his true value to the team was on defense as he was in the 92nd percentile in Outs Above Average this season.
Patrick Mooney of The Athletic added more context in regard to Bellinger's injury and mentioned that the center fielder has yet to resume running since suffering the injury.
"Cody Bellinger — the Gold Glove center fielder who injured his left knee while making a leaping catch at the wall on May 15 — hasn’t started running yet, so it’s unclear where the Cubs will be in the division race by the time he’s ready to return."- Patrick Mooney via The Athletic
Bellinger's injury also may highlight how detrimental outfield prospect Brennen Davis' struggles have been in Triple-A Iowa this season. Through 167 plate appearances with the Iowa Cubs this season, Davis is slashing .188/.317/.283 with a wRC+ of 59. Davis' strikeout percentage is down to 16.8% this season and that is the lowest it has been since his first year in the Cubs' organization but there is still work to be done if he is going to live up to his once lofty expectations. Had Davis not been struggling, chances are he would have gotten a look in center field during Bellinger's absence.