Josh Bell likes feel of first base
It certainly wasn’t a tough sell when the Orioles asked young third baseman Josh Bell to move across the diamond and start getting some work in at first base this spring.
“Playing any other position, it doesn’t matter,” Bell said. “I just want to be in the lineup and hit, so whatever I have to do to make the team, whatever I have to do to contribute, that’s what I want to do.”
Bell, 24, who hasn’t played first base since entering pro ball, has been getting a crash course on the position from Orioles’ bench and infield coach Willie Randolph. Orioles manager Buck Showalter said that Bell could “potentially” be used at first more in Grapefruit League games. He played one inning there on Tuesday and handled his only chance.
“I was telling [first baseman Joe Mahoney] the other day that I’m more worried about the mental side of it because playing the position, making errors is all physical stuff that could happen anywhere,” Bell said. “But the mental part of it, not being in the cut-off spots, not being where you are supposed to be, is just something you can’t do.
“The first day was pretty much just going over everything, just getting me introduced to the footwork of getting back to the base. We just went over a lot of things. After that, it’s going to be early work here and putting pieces together.”
Asked whether he still considers himself a third baseman, Bell said: “Whatever they want me to be. I like first. It’s something new, it’s something to work towards. It’s exciting. But I like playing third, too.”
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