The free-agent is working with Cardinals’ bench coach Matt Holliday
The hot stove is beginning to heat up for the St. Louis Cardinals, with an intriguing a bit surprising piece of news that will be worth monitoring closely over the next few weeks, as free-agent outfielder Cody Bellinger has been seen working on his swing with Cardinals’ new bench coach Matt Holliday.
The training video comes from Trey Hannam on Twitter, and shows that the 27-year old Bellinger has made is way out to Oklahoma State alongside Jackson Holliday, the son of the Cardinals bench coach and recent number one overall pick by the Baltimore Orioles.
Holliday has been working with Major Leaguers in recent off-seasons, including former Cardinal Matt Carpenter, who went on a journey last off-season alongside Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado to work on his swing and get back to being a productive Major Leaguer. It looks like Bellinger is now doing the same, but this time, Holliday is now an employee of the St. Louis Cardinals
Even if Holliday was not the Cardinals new bench coach, this would be worth noting due to his deep connections with the St. Louis organization. But now that he is a member of the staff and looking to compete with the club in 2023, you know for a fact that Holliday is at least having conversations with Bellinger, and he is keeping a close eye on whether or not the former National League Most Valuable Player can find success again.
Bellinger has fallen hard since his historic MVP season in 2019, hitting just .210/.265/.389 with 19 HR and 68 RBI, but a lot of that has been attributed to a shoulder injury he suffered in the 2020 playoffs. At his peak, Bellinger was a .305/.406/.629 hitter with 47 HR and 115 RBI, which would make him a top 5 hitter in the game.
Is it likely that Bellinger recaptures that form? Probably not. But still in his late 20s, it seems very possible that Bellinger could at least become an All-Star level player again and recapture that impact back he has. This, alongside his elite defensive ability in center field and speed on the base paths make him one of the most intriguing players available this off-season.
It looks like the Cardinals will be stronger players for him than many originally thought. The Cardinals have said they are in the market for a left-handed bat, and Bellinger may just fit the bill for St. Louis this off-season.