Minor league notebook: Bell becoming well-rounded hitter at Bradenton
BRADENTON, Fla. — It's hard to quibble with Josh Bell's numbers.
While most of Bradenton's offense has scuffled during the first part of the Florida State League season, Bell has been consistent, batting .313 with a .473 slugging percentage in 39 games.
But there is more improvement if you look deeper. A switch hitter, Bell is batting .255 against lefties (.343 against righties), which isn't great. But the number has spiked about 100 points.
“It's definitely still early. We've just got past a quarter of the way through,” Bell said. “I'm sure things will even out. I'm starting to see the ball a little bit better right-handed and sitting on the pitcher's pitches, for the most part. Hopefully, I can keep with that mindset and keep it rolling.”
Bell's overall numbers are up as of late. He is hitting .450 with 10 RBIs in his past 10 games and .357 in May.
Another spot where Bell has excelled is with runners in scoring position, hitting .378 with 17 RBIs in 37 at-bats.
Pat of all trades
Pat Ludwig has become a valuable and versatile member of the Marauders' pitching staff.
Ludwig is 2-0 with a 2.76 ERA in three starts but has also posted a 2.66 ERA in 201⁄3 innings spread over seven appearances.
Ludwig has no decisions as a reliever but has recorded a save.
Close to perfect
Orlando Castro nearly made history Friday when he took a no-hitter deep into the second game of a doubleheader against the Lakeland Flying Tigers.
(Each game of a minor league doubleheader is seven innings.)
Not only did Castro not achieve perfection, he didn't even earn the win. Lakeland scored three runs in the seventh off Castro and reliever Thomas Harlan and won the game 4-3 in eight innings.
Castro is 2-2 with a 3.35 ERA in seven starts.
The Marauders will spend the season using the visiting team's dugout, bullpen and clubhouse this season.
But they'll be doing so for a good reason: The Pirates recently announced $6.5 million in renovations for their Bradenton facilities, which includes a new home clubhouse and agility field at McKechnie Field.
Pirate City, the Pirates' sprawling minor league complex located less than five miles from McKechnie Field, will be getting a new weight facility, as well.
The projects are supposed to be finished before the Pirates return to McKechnie Field for spring training in February 2015.
John Lembo is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates GM Huntington believes his coaching staff will return intact
- Pirates organization to continue pursuing value free agents in offseason
- Pirates bench coach Jeff Banister named Rangers manager