Josh Bell has had 11 at bats since July 3. Yes, I said 11…in the last 18 days. That’s exactly what you want from a top prospect who struggled for half the season and just started to turn it around, you have to stop him from playing immediately.
Seriously, Josh Bell was the #38 prospect in all of baseball coming into this season and the second ranked third baseman behind only Brett Wallace, who is now a first baseman. This is how he gets treated? We have yanked him back and forth between Norfolk in a matter of days and sit him on the bench collecting splinters. This doesn’t make sense, good organizations do not call up their top prospects and then not play them. Why are they doing this? Lots of people want to know the answer to this question, so Roch Kubatko asked interim manager Juan Samuel about it.
“Tejada was signed to be the third baseman for this ballclub, and Tejada likes to play,” Samuel said. “The times that we’ve been able to have Tejada out of the lineup or DH, we have to talk to him. He earned that right with all he’s done in the game. We are taking that into consideration, that Tejada’s the third baseman, he’s going to play. And the times that we feel like we might need to get him at DH and had Josh Bell in there, that’s what we’ve done. But Tejada has earned the right to play.”
Wow dude, seriously if this is the best answer you can come up with don’t answer the question at all. It would have been less ridiculous if Samuel took the recorder from Roch and farted into it. Tejada wants to play? Of course he wants to play, what player in major league league baseball doesn’t want to play? Garrett Atkins probably loved to play and he was a veteran, by Samuel’s logic he should still be in the lineup everyday. So we sit our best positional prospect, the guy who we hope to be our third baseman of the future, for a 36 year old veteran sporting a .686 OPS and playing below average defense on a one year contract? REALLY?!?!
It would make sense if they were trying to build up trade value or let him play enough to reach type B free agent status for compensation in the offseason. However, how much trade value could he really have at this point? Adding to that, even if he does make it to Type B free agent classification there is no way he would not accept arbitration. Then we would have him for another year at possibly the same amount of money he is making now, which he isn’t worth. Tejada’s skills have greatly diminished, the warning signs were there, and I am one to say I told you so. Watching him play these days is excruciating, last night’s game aside.
This is just another reason the Orioles are inept. Josh Bell needs to play, if he isn’t going to play in the majors then he should be getting everyday at bats at Norfolk. He shouldn’t be sitting idle, Rhyne Hughes, Jeff Salazar or anyone else could do that. This is beyond ridiculous.
If you have a a minute, the long awaited article from Tony Pente over at Orioles Hangout has been posted. I’m about to read it myself and will post a reaction if I feel so inclined.