Josh Bell Close To Returning And Other Notes
By Marty Leap
News and notes from Bradenton
Spring Training is now three weeks old. Additionally, the Pittsburgh Pirates have played six Grapefruit League games thus far. Due to this, there is plenty of news coming out of Pirate camp these days.
The biggest news right now has to do with first baseman Josh Bell. Bell had a minor knee surgery on February 1. He was slated to miss two-to-four weeks following the surgery, and now he is close to returning to the Pirate lineup.
According to Adam Berry of Pirates.com, Josh Bell is in the ‘final stages’ of preparing for his return to the lineup. Josh Bell has been working in the field, hitting in the cage, and doing cardio work for two weeks. Later this week he will play in simulated games.
Following playing in simulated games, Bell’s return to the lineup should closely follow. All signs point toward Josh Bell being ready for Opening Day. Even though that was never really in doubt at all.
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On Wednesday, the Pittsburgh Pirates improved to 4-2 in Grapefruit League play. This comes courtesy of a 3-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins. Although the Pirates played most Minor League players in the game, some Major League regulars saw playing time.
Starling Marte started in center field and was 1-for-1 with a pair of walks. Gregory Polanco was 0-for-3 with a walk, David Freese was 1-for-3 with a RBI, and John Jaso went 2-for-4 with a solo home run (1).
Philip Gosselin continued his strong start to Grapefruit League play by going 1-for-3, he has hit safely in three of his four starts this spring. Some other notables include Kevin Newman going 0-for-3, Austin Meadows going 1-for-2, and Jose Osuna finishing the day with a base hit in his lone at bat.
Josh Lindblom made the start for the Bucs and tossed two scoreless innings. Jared Hughes struggled once again allowing a base hit and a walk in his inning of work. However, he kept the Twins off the board.
Edgar Santana, who is a name to watch as a potential bullpen arm later in the season, tossed a 1-2-3 sixth inning which included two strikeouts. Dovydas Neverauskas, another bullpen depth option, pitched the fourth inning and allowed the lone Minnesota run on two hits while striking a batter out.
Next: Jared Hughes Is A Pitcher In Decline
Today, the Bucs will play the Detroit Tigers at 1:05. Steven Brault will make the start for the Bucs in his effort to win a spot in the rotation. This is Brault’s second start of the spring, having pitched a scoreless inning in his first start.
Trevor Williams, Tyler Webb, and Tyler Eppler are all slated to pitch as well. Andrew McCutchen, Francisco Cervelli, and Josh Harrison are among the Major League regulars expected to play on Thursday afternoon.