Cody Bellinger recently told his Chicago Cubs teammate Ian Happ on the “Compound Podcast” how the shift departure in 2023 will help him and other hitters.
“It (the shift going away in 2023) just opens up a completely different part of the game,” Bellinger said. “Your whole life, growing up, you hit a line drive, the pitcher’s right there, you hit a line drive back at his face. That’s a hit your whole life. In these last five years, it’s an automatic out. There’s a shortstop right there and vice-versa when you have a third baseman in right field. And so that ball you’ve hit in front of right field used to be a hit your whole life. And now you got Manny Machado standing right there catching everything!”
Cody Bellinger struggled from an offensive standpoint over the past two years with the Los Angeles Dodgers. But he’s looking to regain his form in Chicago with the Cubs.
Bellinger later shared an insightful take on how the shift change will help the game of baseball as well.
“I think it’s going to bring a lot of athleticism back into the game,” he said. “These infielders are going to have to cover a lot of ground and show off what they can do as opposed to standing where the ball is probably going to be hit. For me, as just like a baseball fan, I think that’s pretty exciting.”
It will be interesting to see how the shift ban impacts the game in 2023. Players such as Cody Bellinger will benefit without question. The Cubs are hopeful that Bellinger can return to the MVP-caliber player he used to be this season.