Pie back in Baltimore for a day at least (MacPhail on Bell’s progress)

One reason Josh Bell did join the Orioles today is because the club feels Felix Pie, out since April 15 with a back injury, is just not ready to return yet.

Pie has played seven games in the minors with Bowie, Frederick and the Gulf Coast League O’s.

Pie was in the O’s clubhouse today, but not to be activated as he will play at least a few more games in the minors.

Pie said today that he will fly to Detroit on Sunday to join the O’s for the second leg of their upcoming road trip although they have not set an exact date for him to come off the DL.

“I feel like (I need) a couple more games in the outfield to play defense. After that, we’ll see what’s going on,” Pie said.

“I need a couple more at bats. I faced a lot of lefties, so I need to see more righties. In a couple of more games, I’ll be ready.”

Pie is 11 for 29 (.379) with a double and 2 RBI in seven games in the minors.

He can’t wait to get back on the Major League roster.

“I’m very excited because, there was a lot of time where I did nothing. So I can help my team win more games.”

Pie has played left field the last couple of nights for Double-A Bowie and said his defense and his throwing is progressing well.

“It’s good, it’s good. I played the outfielder yesterday and made a throw to home plate. No pain, everything is fine. Just need to feel more comfortable at the plate.”

Meanwhile, here is what Andy MacPhail said today about Josh Bell’s progress this year:

“In a lot of respects, he’s exceeded our expectations. Quite honestly, we felt coming out of spring training he was going to have a tough year at Triple-A. He was going to get exposed to a level of pitching he hadn’t seen and they were going to try to exploit weaknesses that they perceive.

“We though he might be in for a struggle, and you know what, he’s actually performed there at a higher level than we were expecting.”

How has his defense been at third?

“We believe he is capable of handling that position.”

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