After sitting out last night, Josh Bell returns to the Orioles lineup tonight at third base.
Bell is doing better after leaving Wednesday’s game due to hamstring cramps in his left leg.
It’s an important time for Bell to show the organization and new manager Buck Showalter that he can be a part of the team’s future at third base.
Even though first impressions can mean a lot, Showalter is experienced enough to know how he evaluates Bell might be a little different from evaluating a veteran player with a lot of Major League games under his belt.
“You look at the history of each guy and realize they all progress at different times and have been exposed to different things in their past. I keep that in mind. You can see why people are high on him.
“One of the challenges of moving players quickly is you never want them to look behind them and say I haven’t mastered that level. I’m ready for the next one. Josh has done some real good things down there.
“But this is the right thing to do in the situation we’re in, where he’s concerned. And I think he understands the opportunity he’s getting. We’ll see where it takes us,” Showalter said.
Bell is batting .206-0-3 in 10 games, going 7 for 34. His two-run double Tuesday produced his first big league extra-base hit and his first two runs batted in. He now has an RBI in each of his last two games.
His OPS is only .441 at this early stage and he has struck out 13 times without a walk.
Showalter realizes there is a fine line with seeing what a young player can do under big league pressure while at the same time trying to find a comfort level to show his real talents.
“Talking to him yesterday, making sure he understands how important this opportunity is to him. Not putting pressure on him, I can sit here and tell you to relax all day.
“He’s smart enough to understand these things can be fleeting, so make an impression on somebody every day by what you do and the way you carry yourself.”