Results tagged ‘ Josh Bell ’

Josh Bell on his first base debut

Orioles third baseman Josh Bell has been working with infield coach Willie Randolph at first base. On Friday he got his first start and he made a few nice defensive plays, including starting a 3-6-1 double play.

“It actually feels really comfortable out there,” said Bell, who also doubled at the plate. “So hopefully, I get some more chances to get out there.”

Manager Buck Showalter agreed that Bell seemed pretty comfortable, and said pregame that it’s a good way to get Bell some at-bats before starter Derrek Lee starts playing.

“He looks pretty comfortable,” Showalter said of Bell. “This isn’t something we just pulled out of the air. We’ve been talking a little bit about it. You look at common attributes of guys who can go over there and play a little bit. He’s got them. It would be a pretty easy transition for him if we ever had to go in that direction.”

Bell said the reaction time is pretty much the same, but obviously at first base you’re involved in more plays.

“You don’t really realize how close the pitcher is to you,” he added. “It’s just getting used to things. The pick-offs, holding runners on. Being a part of the game more, instead of watching. Usually at third base, a ground ball goes somewhere else you are just watching the play.”

Reynolds rundown w/ Bell and first base info

There will be a full story up later tonight on Orioles.com, but first here a few brief highlights of the O’s press conference to announce this afternoon’s trade for Mark Reynolds.

*Reynolds will be at third base “period” according to MacPhail. He can play first base also, but the O’s have made it clear that he will be at the hot corner.

*So what does this mean for prospect Josh Bell? The O’s said they’ve been fielding lots of calls about Bell, who came up midway through last season and was clearly overmatched at the plate. Showalter was going to call Bell sometime on Monday to talk with him, and MacPhail also didn’t rule out Bell switching positions. But that’s down the line. Right now my guess is, Bell will probably start the season at Triple-A Norfolk. The O’s could eventually plug him in at first base but it won’t be next season because…

*I was told by several people today that the O’s acquiring Reynolds isn’t going to be their only move. They will “get a real first baseman”, and won’t go with a platoon of Ty Wigginton or Luke Scott.

While I speculated that they wouldn’t want Pena because, like Reynolds, he has a high strikeout ratio, that wouldn’t deter Showalter and the Orioles. Both Pena and Reynolds are power guys who bring good defense and exceptional team attitudes.

However, Pena’s asking price right now is high and there’s a reoccurring thought that he could resign a one-year deal in Tampa Bay and hope to have a bounce back year to raise his stock. There are other options such as Adam LaRoche or Derrek Lee.

  *MacPhail said there’s nothing in his “back pocket” for the rest of Monday, but he did acknowledge that the next move will likely involve a reliever. The O’s have several offers out to free agent relievers and given that they just traded away two young arms, they’re going to need to add some back.

*This trade does not spell the end of Wigginton in Baltimore. Although it would clearly mean he would play less third base. The Orioles remain in contact with his agent.

Here’s MacPhail’s opening monologue concerning Reynolds from the just-wrapped press conference…

We are not as productive as we would like to be against left handed starters last year so we wanted to get some right handed bats in.  Mark has definitely demonstrated he is capable against left handed pitching, we are buoyed by the fact that he will start next year at 27, somebody that we have in our control for several years.  He is a young player who is improving his defense, which is a very important part of the equation for us.

And I couldn’t help but be struck by listening to Pat Gillick’s words today when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame; the one thing that he volunteered was when he started as a general manager, I thought the equation for character and talent went about 70 percent talent, 30 percent character, but by the end of his career he figured he had gotten it wrong and it was 70 percent character and 30 percent talent.  And we are delighted and hear nothing but great things about the intensity and character of Mark Reynolds.  So we are delighted to have him.  We hope to make some other changes to augment our offense over the course of the off season prior to Spring Training and are continuing to work towards that end.  

Bell on not sliding

Given last night’s blowout, it wasn’t a huge play by any means. But I did get a few emails asking about why Josh Bell –who was running from first base– scored standing up when there was a throw to the plate during the six-run seventh inning.

Here’s what Bell had to say about that play:

“When you are running you kind of get an idea in  your head of how much time you have. Yesterday
I figured if the ball hadn’t been there yet maybe they would have cut it off,” said Bell, who scored on Robert Andino’s bases-clearing double.  “By
the time I got close, I saw [Cesar] Izturis he was going down [with his hands] but by
then it was too late.”

Bell said he saw Izturis right at the last second, and Matt Wieters –who was also standing on the on-deck circle — didn’t make any motions to help. 

“A lot of times you are in such a zone, they might be doing
something, you are looking at them but not really looking at them” Bell said. “It was too late for me to slide, like the last time. I figured
out I was already past him.”

This isn’t the first time Bell hasn’t slid, and he said he didn’t receive any specific reprimand from manager Buck Showalter. But in the future, when in doubt, he will  get down.

“Oh, I’ll be sliding now,” Bell said.

Showalter on Bell forgetting the outs

Orioles rookie Josh Bell forgot how many outs there were in last night’s loss to the Red Sox, as he stepped on the third base bag with Marco Scutaro’s grounder and then threw to first for an unnecessary double play in the third inning. The play was harmless, but at this level that can’t happen.

Asked today if it was a concentration thing that was being addressed with Bell, manager Buck Showalter answered: yes and yes.

“I think Josh is trying to get through, whatever, anxiety there might be about the opportunity. He has some days where you can tell he is real comfortable,” Showalter said.

“It’s more of a reaction thing, that  he stepped on the bag. But the game should never catch you by surprise and that’s a concentration thing. You don’t expect or tolerate from anybody… It tells you need to have a little better concentration level.
 
They were all laughing in the dugout, asking [Ty Wigginton] what he was doing at first base. He had a great answer: ‘I couldn’t tell if he touched the bag and plus I was heading towards the dugout anyway. I just happened to stop there and the next thing I know he was throwing.’ With that being said, ‘It ain’t funny.’ [Bell] was embarrassed about it. Not good.”

Bell trying to show what he can do

CLEVELAND– Struggling rookie Josh Bell said he’s not longer overanxious at the plate, but admits that most of his hitting problems are mental.

“I definitely have doubted myself a little bit,” said Bell, who is 3-for-20 with 11 strikeouts since his second call-up following July 29’s Miguel Tejada trade. “I’m not where I want to be, but I’ve definitely made strides towards it.”

Bell was on the field early on Wednesday afternoon with hitting coach Terry Crowley for some early extra hitting work -along with several other O’s – and said he was working on some “minor tweaks” to better attack the inside pitch.   

Orioles manager Buck Showalter gave Bell most of Tuesday’s game off -he entered as a defensive replacement in the ninth – with the expectation that he will likely start Wednesday and Thursday. While Bell’s .167 batting average leaves much to be desired, Showalter believes the 23-year-old pressing at the plate isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

“You got to have some “want to” there,” Showalter said. “I’d a lot rather have that amount of caring than thinking ‘sera, sera’ this is always going to be here. I want them to have a sense of urgency.”

The Orioles top position prospect, Bell hadn’t played above Double-A until this season, and his accelerated development prompted president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail to trade away Tejada and spend the final two months evaluating Bell’s “Major League-readyiness”.

But Bell has struggled on both sides of the field, and the third baseman enters Wednesday with three errors in 15 games.

“There are some things that I know that I’m just not doing on the field,” Bell said, citing cutting in front of shortstop Cesar Izturis in the ninth inning on Tuesday as one of those moments.

“I’ve been kind of standoffish I think. I just go to be more aggressive and trust myself. I’m putting things together as I go along.”

Hernandez likely to DL , B-Rob/Bell OK

Wednesday’s win came with a price, as David Hernandez exited the clubhouse on crutches with a Grade 2 left ankle sprain. Hernandez said he was told it would be 10-14 days, making a scenario where he avoids the disabled list very unlikely.

He will be reexamined tomorrow, but head athletic trainer Richie Bancells said that the tendon that’s the most sore is one that is a slow healer. So, it’s not looking good. Hernandez suffered the injury trying to protect home plate on a wild pitch and didn’t feel his heel roll, but felt something off. He can put pressure on it, but was told not to.

Obviously this is a big blow to an O’s bullpen that was just starting to look like it had regained even footing.  Buck Showalter said he has already talked to president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail about a potential roster move, so you can bet that the O’s will have some movement (maybe Armando Gabino- but he’s not on the 40-man) should Hernandez go to the DL. 

On a brighter note, Josh Bell (left hamstring cramp) and Brian Roberts appear to be OK and both said they would play on Thursday. Roberts was ruled to have a left shin bruise and said it had nothing to do with his back. Phew. 

Orioles/Royals lineups and tibdits

*Buck Showalter called soon to be ex-interim manager Juan Samuel today to tell him how much he’d like Juan to stay on board.  Samuel said he will meet with president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail when the team returns on Monday to discuss his future. Samuel has been offered back his third base job, but he acknowledged on Thursday it would be awkward to go back to that spot, particularly since he has never met or worked with Showalter. The sentiment is Samuel likely won’t stay (although the rest of the coaching staf will stay in place until the season ends.)
*Jason Berken hasn’t pitched since July 24, but interim manager Juan Samuel said there’s not to worry about.
“He is ready to pitch when we need him,” Samuel said.  We just wanted to give him some time off.”
*Nick Markakis is batting second now that Miguel Tejada is officially a Padre. Josh Bell is here but he can’t play until tomorrow due to the 10-day rule when you get optioned down. So the O’s will play with a short bench, consisting of backup catcher Jake Fox and Julio Lugo tonight.

ORIOLES LINEUP:
Brian Roberts 2B
Nick Markakis RF
Ty Wigginton 3B
Luke Scott 1B
Adam Jones CF
Felix Pie LF
Matt Wieters C
Corey Patterson DH
Cesar Izturis SS
Jake Arrieta RHP

ROYALS LINEUP:
Chris Getz 2B
Jason Kendall C
Billy Butler 1B
Jose Guillen DH
Rick Ankiel CF
Wilson Betemit 3B
Alex Gordon LF
Yuniesky Betancourt SS
Mitch Maier RF
Sean O’Sullivan RHP

Bell says he learned a lot in the Majors

BALTIMORE– Josh Bell didn’t get to play often, but the Orioles rookie -who was optioned back to Triple-A Norfolk prior to Wednesday’s game – called his first taste of the Major Leagues, nothing but positive.

“It was a pleasure being here, it’s the highest level so whether you are playing or sitting on the bench you are at the top,” said Bell who hit .263 (6-for-19) in six games. “There’s plenty to learn.”

Interim manager Juan Samuel said Bell was “outstanding” in handling the situation, which often left the 23-year-old on the bench in favor of veteran third baseman Miguel Tejada. Monday’s return of designated hitter Luke Scott further cut into Bell’s playing time and the best choice for the young switch-hitter, acquired in a trade with the Dodgers right in the days leading up to last season’s deadline, was to go back to Triple-A.

“He knows that we care about him,” Samuel said of Bell, who is regarded as one of the organization’s top positive prospects. “We wanted him to go back down [to Norfolk] as soon as possible and continue to play.”

Bell said the short stint helped improve his confidence that he can succeed at the Majors and now the challenge is to keep working hard at Norfolk and “wait for that day” when his stay in Baltimore will become permanent.

When that may be is anyone’s guess.

“Who knows,” Samuel said. “As you guys, know things change here on a daily basis. Josh was great here.”

Odds and Ends….

*Corey Patterson (bruised heel) is available to play tonight off the bench.
*Juan Samuel said Josh Bell hasn’t been playing much because Miguel Tejada was brought here to play third base. (Or perhaps they are trying to shop him and want him to play as much as possible.)
*The Orioles roster situation is going to get a lot crazier later this week. You can read about today’s moves here. Besides Bell, I can’t think of a front runner roster casualty. The team could go about 10 different ways and it will be interesting to see what Andy MacPhail does…
*On the move to send Chris Tillman to Norfolk…I’m not sure about this one. While Tillman is inconsistent he has proven to be dominant at Triple-A. It’s the easy choice to get Millwood back in the rotation, but sooner or later it’s going to mess with these young kids heads to keep sending guys like Brad Bergesen and Tillman back-and-forth. Not sure I agree with this move or how the young pitchers are being handled. As a key part of the O’s future, they have to tread carefully.
*Tillman will likely start Saturday in Norfolk. 

What about Bell?

Josh Bell is not in Friday’s starting lineup and interim manager Juan Samuel acknowledged it will be hard to get some at-bats for the rookie, who was recalled (again) after Matt Wieters went to the DL.

“I might have to give one of our veteran players an off day to get him in there,” Samuel said. “I’d like to see Josh Bell get some at-bats here and we have to try to do anything possible to get him in there. So, we will see the next couple days how this thing pans out.”

The 23-year-old Bell was optioned on July 10 to make room for starter Chris Tillman, but he hadn’t been added to Triple-A Norfolk’s active roster given the All-Star break and the 72-hour rule on reporting.

Bell was batting .266 (76-for-286) with 10 home runs and 44 RBIs in 74 games for the Tides. He made his Major League debut for the Orioles on July 1, and batted .200 (3-for-15) in five games.
 

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