The youth movement continues for the Pirates. Josh Bell, the Pirates 2011 second round draft pick, has officially been promoted to “the show” of Major League Baseball.
Bell, a first baseman, had been excelling with the Pirates AAA minor league affiliate the Indianapolis Indians this season. Throughout 83 minor league games in 2016, Bell had an impressive statistical spread: 13 home runs, 53 RBI, and a .324 batting average in 312 at-bats.
— Pirates (@Pirates) July 8, 2016
This season is being labeled as the year of youth for the Pirates. Bell’s call up comes less than 24 hours from Tyler Glasnow, Bell’s teammate in Indianapolis, pitching his MLB debut.
Glasnow pitched 5.1 innings allowing 4 earned runs off 3 hits in the Pirates loss to the Cardinals. While Glasnow did loss his first Major League start, he flashed his 94 mph fastball repeatedly and only walked 2 batters, something that was his main issue in the minors. Ironically, Glasnow is the player the Pirates optioned back down to the minor leagues to make a roster spot for Bell. It’s likely Glasnow will start once more for Indianapolis, before finding his way back to Pittsburgh soon after the MLB All-Star Game.
His first Major League punchout.
— Pirates (@Pirates) July 7, 2016
Usually teams in the midst of giving playing time to rookies are losing and rebuilding. Even though the Pirates are doing this, they remain in contention for a playoff spot and had a 6 game winning streak snapped in Glasnow’s loss to St. Louis.
As we stand on July 8th, the Pirates sit 8.5 back of the Cubs and 8 behind the Cardinals in the National League Central division race while also finding themselves 3 games back in the NL Wild Card race.