Bell isn't starting Wednesday's game against the Cardinals, Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post reports. Bell reached base safely in his first two games of the season to begin the week. He went 1-for-6 with three runs, three walks and two strikeouts during that time. However, he'll get a routine day off Wednesday with Ryan Zimmerman starting at first base, batting third.
Bell went 1-for-3 with two walks and two runs scored in Monday's win over the Cardinals. Making his first appearance for the Nationals after an offseason trade from the Pirates and then a delayed start to the campaign due to COVID-19 protocols, Bell slotted immediately into the cleanup spot and showed good patience. While he's coming off a rough 2020, hitting behind Trea Turner and Juan Soto should provide Bell with all the RBI opportunities he could ask for, and if he rediscovers his 2019 form, he'll provide a huge boost to the Washington offense.
Bell is starting Monday's game against the Cardinals. Bell will join the Nationals' lineup for the first time after he was activated from the COVID-19 injured list Monday. He'll bat fourth and start at first base for the series opener against the Cardinals. Bell should fill the strong side of a platoon at first base going forward while Ryan Zimmerman mainly starts against left-handed pitchers.
The Nationals reinstated Bell from the COVID-19 injured list Monday. One of 11 Nationals placed on the COVID-19 IL ahead of Opening Day, Bell will be ready to debut for Washington after completing a mandatory quarantine and passing all phases of MLB's health and safety protocol. Washington has yet to release a lineup for Monday's series opener in St. Louis, but Bell will presumably start at first base in place of Ryan Zimmerman, who had been serving as the team's primary option at the position for the first week of the season. Bell should fill the strong side of a platoon at first base, while the right-handed Zimmerman draws most of the starts versus lefty pitching.
Bell could be cleared through the league's COVID-19 protocols as soon as Monday but will likely need another day or two afterward to get ready to rejoin the lineup, Maria Torres of The Athletic reports. Manager Dave Martinez said Sunday that Bell, Kyle Schwarber and Josh Harrison could all be back in action early this week provided they received clearance by Monday. The Nats could certainly use three members of their expected starting lineup back after losing five straight games and getting shut out three times in the last four, but there's no guarantee the trio is able to shake off the rust quickly. Bell should slot in as Washington's primary cleanup hitter and first baseman once he makes his season debut.
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