Bell went 3-for-5 with two doubles and an RBI in Tuesday's 13-8 loss to the Diamondbacks. There was plenty of offense to go around in this one, and Bell got in on the action with his third three-hit day of the season. The 25-year-old has been an on-base machine since sliding down in the order, reaching base safely in 11 of 16 plate appearances in that four-game span. It's possible he'll move back up to cleanup at some point, but manager Clint Hurdle may be hesitant to tinker with Bell's new spot if it seems to be working.
Bell went 1-for-1 with three walks and scored one run against the Cubs on Sunday. He's reached base five times in seven plate appearances since moving from cleanup to the sixth spot in the batting order. Pittsburgh's options are limited and Bell will likely move back to hitting fourth, but it wouldn't be surprising to see him do well right now with less pressure on him. Manager Clint Hurdle said Sunday that it seemed like Bell was trying to hit a three-run homer in every plate appearance. The fact that he's walked four times in two games while batting sixth is a good sign.
Bell will be moved from the cleanup spot "until further notice" according to manager Clint Hurdle, Adam Berry of MLB.com reports. During Saturday's game against the Cubs, Bell will be batting sixth and manning first base after starting the month 1-for-20. Hurdle added that this will not be a one-day swap and that he wants to see Bell find success outside of his typical cleanup position.
Bell is not in the lineup for Friday's game against the Cubs, Adam Berry of MLB.com reports. Bell will take a seat on the bench after going 1-for-5 with a double and one RBI during Thursday's contest versus the Dodgers. In his place, David Freese will man first base.
Bell went 0-for-4 against the Dodgers on Tuesday and is batting .160 in his last 50 at-bats since May 20. The first baseman has totaled only four homers and 32 RBI in 214 at-bats despite batting fourth in the lineup for all of 2018. Surprisingly, the switch hitter is struggling against right-handed pitching, slashing just .235/.310/.367 after compiling a line of .259/.342/.470 in 2017. Bell's OPS has dropped year-over-year (.800 to .695) while his .133 ISO mirrors his 2016 mark -- well off last season's .211 ISO. Bell has played in 59 of Pittsburgh's first 60 games, and while he might be due for a day off, the team will likely continue to roll with the first baseman on an everyday basis.
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