The Pittsburgh Pirates play a three game series in Oakland this weekend and will have the designated hitter at their disposal. For this reason, the Pirates should promote Josh Bell to be their designated hitter this weekend.
This weekend the Pittsburgh Pirates travel to Oakland to take on the struggling Athletics. This series is a big opportunity for the 38-41 Pirates to gain ground in the National League postseason race, as the Pirates currently find themselves three and a half games out of a postseason position. In order to maximize their chances of gaining ground this weekend, the Pirates should promote prized prospect Josh Bell from Triple-A to be the designated hitter this weekend.
Josh Bell was rated by Baseball America as the 38th best prospect in all of baseball entering the 2016 season. So far this season, Josh Bell has not disappointed. In 331 plate appearances so far this season at Triple-A Josh Bell is slashing .316/.402/.521/.923 to go along with a .411 wOBA and a 166 wRC+, and these numbers are before he hit his 12th home run of the season last night. Simply put, Josh Bell has crushed the ball at Triple-A this season.
On top of being the Pirates’ top hitting prospect, Josh Bell is one of the top hitting prospects in all of baseball. The only reason Josh Bell is still at Triple-A is due to defensive issues at first base. However, this weekend Bell can come to the Major Leagues and not have to play the field.
Since the Pittsburgh Pirates are playing a road game series against the Oakland Athletics of the American League this weekend, the Pirates will, of course, have the designated hitter at their disposal. Honestly, the Pirates should have the designated hitter at their disposal for each game as the National League should have the designated hitter. However, that is a topic for another day.
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Since the Pirates will be able to use the designated hitter this weekend, this is the perfect time for Josh Bell to make his Major League debut. He can come up, concentrate on hitting for three days, and not have to worry about playing the field. This is the perfect time for Bell to make his Major League debut.
There are also some conspiracy theories at play here. Today, the Pirates announced that first baseman Jose Osuna had been promoted from Double-A Altoona to Triple-A Indianapolis. Was this in preparation of Bell being promoted and Indianapolis needing a first baseman? It is possible. Most likely a stretch, but still possible.
Also, even though as anyone who follows my work knows, I am just about the world’s biggest John Jaso fan. However, Josh Bell’s ceiling is higher than Jaso’s could ever be. It might be time that the Pirates hand the first base reigns to Bell, and transition Jaso to the utility player role they told him he would eventually settle into when they signed him.
Sooner rather than later, Josh Bell is going to be one of the Pittsburgh Pirates best hitters. Bell has yet to make his Major League debut, but this weekend is the perfect time for this to happen. The Pirates should promote Josh Bell from Triple-A to be their designated hitter in Oakland this weekend.