Chicago Cubs News: Cody Bellinger showing promising signs

Feb 22, 2023; Mesa, AZ, USA;  Chicago Cubs center fielder Cody Bellinger (24) throws during a Spring
Feb 22, 2023; Mesa, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs center fielder Cody Bellinger (24) throws during a Spring / Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

While Chicago Cubs position players officially reported to Spring Training this past Monday, the team's new center fielder Cody Bellinger has been present at their facility for much of the past month as he looks to regain the form that earned National League MVP honors during the 2019 Major League Baseball regular season.

The work that Bellinger has put in appears to be paying off and that was evident during his batting practice session against Cubs' pitcher Drew Smyly on Thursday.

In his introductory press conference with the Cubs, Bellinger expressed optimism over the fact that he is feeling healthy for the first time since the start of the 2020 season. The injuries that Bellinger has had in recent seasons have led to him constantly tweaking his hitting mechanics and that was the driver for Sahadev Sharma's latest article for The Athletic. Sharma highlights the relationship that Bellinger has with the Cubs' hitting coach, Dustin Kelly, and assistant hitting coach, Johnny Washington, and included insight from the center fielder in regard to why he chose to sign with the team.

"“We were both on the same page from Day 1,” Bellinger said. “That was a big reason why I wanted to sign here because it’s speaking about what I feel is right, they’ve accepted it, they agree and we’ve just been working towards it. It’s just feeling more natural and getting confident with it.”"

Cody Bellinger via The Athletic

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Bellinger is an important piece to the Cubs' 2023 puzzle. The Cubs do not need Bellinger to be the MVP player that he was in 2019 but if he can return to being a legitimate power threat from the left side of the plate, that will go a long way in regard to solving some of the team's offensive concerns as they head into the 2023 season.