With John Jaso mired in a month-or-so-long slump and Josh Bell destroying all comers in Indianapolis, Bell’s omission from the Indy-to-Pittsburgh migration that’s been taking place in the last few weeks was starting to feel glaring. The glare is no more; Bell is being called up and will play tonight against the Cubs.
With Indianapolis this year, Bell is hitting .324/.407/.535. He’s already tied his career high with 13 home runs, and power was really the final aspect he needed to add to his impressive offensive repertoire. Jaso, meanwhile, is mired in a .222/.317/.296 funk that began on May 23rd, and so it seems like the time is ripe to try something new at first.
If Bell does come up and take Jaso’s job, I have no idea what the Pirates would do with Jaso; he can’t really play anywhere but first base, but he’s a decent enough hitter that he’d be worth a roster spot. He’d likely become a trade target with at least some value since he’s signed reasonably through 2017. This is, of course, me getting a bit ahead of myself. It’s also impossible to ignore the reality that the Pirates may be looking to get Bell some playing time now while they await the results of the Jung Ho Kang sexual assault investigation (Bell is a switch-hitter with no real platoon split this year), and that with all of the rookies with options in their pitching staff right now, the Pirates have free rein to be a little creative with their roster this weekend.
Anyway, Taillon, Kuhl, Frazier, Brault, Glasnow, and now Bell. After a really frustrating June, a lot of things seem to be coming into place for the Pirates over the last few weeks.