Bell becomes latest Pirate to deal with injury

First baseman exits after two innings with left side discomfort

July 27th, 2018

PITTSBURGH -- Pirates first baseman Josh Bell exited Friday's 5-4 walk-off win against the Mets at PNC Park after two innings due to left side discomfort.
Bell didn't look right coming out of the batter's box in the second inning after he reached out over the plate and flung his bat while hitting a grounder to shortstop . He noticeably grimaced on the swing and didn't sprint down the first-base line as he usually does.
Bell did not take his position to start the third. moved from center field to first base, and entered the game to play center. Rodriguez wound up returning to center in the sixth inning, and -- who drove in all five runs for the Pirates -- finished the game at first base.
Pittsburgh had already been hit hard by nagging injuries this week, as left fielder Corey Dickerson (left hamstring strain) and center fielder (left hand discomfort) remained sidelined on Friday night. The latest blow may be Bell, who has joined Dickerson and Marte as one of the Pirates' hottest hitters over the last month.
Dickerson entered Friday with a 1.177 OPS over the previous 30 days, and his work atop the order helped set up productive 30-day stretches for Marte (1.053 OPS, 20 RBIs) and Bell (.878 OPS, 11 walks to 15 strikeouts).
Overall this season, Bell is hitting .266/.347/.402 with six home runs and 49 RBIs while playing in 104 of the Pirates' 105 games.
Bell was not available in the Pirates' clubhouse after the game to discuss his injury. After having his hand heavily wrapped, Marte stepped on deck to pinch-hit in the ninth but didn't have to, as Freese ended the game with a walk-off single to center. The Pirates may have to call up reinforcements from Triple-A before Saturday's game unless they are confident at least one or two of the three will be healthy enough to play.
"I don't know what they're going to do with moves that need to be made or whatever," Freese said. "Having three guys down but active is tough, so I'm sure something will happen. We've just got to keep stepping up."