With the 2016 MLB Season hitting its home stretch, the Pittsburgh Pirates are making Josh Bell a more permanent stay with their major league roster, hoping he provides something that helps them make the postseason.
The 24-year old third baseman was used sparingly up until the last few days, getting four plate appearances in July, hitting twice on his pinch hitting duties. He has played a bit more over the last three games, batting .444 with a homerun and two walks in 12 plate appearances. Going forward, the Pirates expect him to get what they consider a “decent” amount of time.
Bell, a first baseman, has been with the franchise since 2011, selected in the second round of the amatuer draft. He’s done extremely well in Triple-A baseball this season, posting a .295/.382/.468 stat line, hitting 14 home runs in 114 games. Combine that with John Jaso doing terribly in the second half of the season (batting just .167), and Bell might find himself in a position to play first base on an everyday basis, which would have been surprising before the All-Star break.
One thing the Pirates aren’t happy about is Bell’s defense, but if he performs at a “passable” level while showing improvement as time goes by, the Pirates should put him instead of Jaso, although the 32-year old does have a $4 million contract for next season as well. Bell is on a minor league deal, and the Pirates will start trying to trade Jason this winter, hoping people pay more attention to his form in 2015 and the first half of this season instead of his more recent performances.