Josh Bell is excited today. Not only is he making his fifth Major League start for the Orioles, but someone special gets to watch him play in person.
"I get excited every time you get to play. My mom will be here today. She's been waiting to see me play in the big leagues since 2005 when I signed."
Bell's mom made the trip to Camden Yards from her home in Florida. She got to see him play in person several times when he was in the minors.
"She was a bit of a roadie, usually got to see me play two or three times a year."
Bell has not been playing much with the O's. He is 3 for 15 with three singles and eight strikeouts so far. But he feels any time he gets with the big club, whether you are in the lineup or not, is a help to him.
"I've kind of always felt the only thing that can really prepare you for the big leagues, is the big leagues. Especially coming from Triple-A to here, I just think it's really hard to simulate this.
"The game is the same, but there is a lot more that goes into this. Just being here benefits me, learning and seeing the way people go about their business and the way they do things. It will help me in the long run."
Bell has likely tired a bit about questions about his switch-hitting, but says he remains committed to batting from both sides of the plate, even though he hits much better as a lefty hitter.
This year at Triple-A he batted .277-10-38 in 213 at bats vs. right-handed pitching and just .233-0-6 in 73 at bats vs. left-handed pitching.
"Pretty much the only thing you can do is work in the cage and even that is not like the game. Unless they are throwing a lot of lefties at you, it's going to be tough. It's about knowing your swing and yourself. But the more reps I get, even hitting in the cage, on the field, anything, is going to help."
Today, Bell is batting eighth in the O's lineup at third base. It's his third O's start at third and first since July 4th at Boston.