Friday, May 04, 2001
Bell to return from Triple-A
Will move into starting rotation
By Chris Haft
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati's need for a long reliever has forced another round of roster moves.
The Reds announced that Rob Bell is expected to be recalled from Triple-A Louisville in time to start Saturday against the San Diego Padres. Bell will occupy the rotation spot belonging to Jim Brower, who will move to the long-relief role despite making three mostly effective starts.
To create roster room for Bell, the Reds probably will demote another pitcher, possibly left-hander Hector Mercado.
The Reds optioned outfielder Brady Clark to Louisville after Thursday's game in a separate move. Another position player is expected to be called up today. Possibilities include utility players Chris Sexton, Wilton Guerrero or Bill Selby, or third baseman Brandon Larson.
Bell began the season as Cincinnati's No.5 starter but was optioned to Louisville after his only outing, April6, when he allowed three runs in five innings and received no decision in the Reds' 5-4 loss at Milwaukee. The right-hander went 2-2 with a 3.33 ERA for the RiverBats.
The plethora of scheduled off-days in April temporarily removed Cincinnati's need for a fifth starter. Though Bell initially was told he'd return to face Colorado on April 28, Brower's strong performances scrapped that plan.
Brower, who relieved Chris Reitsma in Thursday night's series finale against Los Angeles, displayed aptitude for long relief April 20 against the New York Mets. He allowed one run and two hits in three innings that night and earned the save in the Reds' 9-5 victory. Brower was less effective against Los Angeles, yielding two runs in two innings. The right-hander was 2-0 in his other three outings, all starts.
Brower, 28, is also more experienced than Bell, 24. I think Jim can handle (long relief), Reds manager Bob Boone said. I wouldn't want to put Rob in that position.
The urgency for a long reliever has intensified. None of Cincinnati's starters has lasted past the sixth inning since April 21, when Reitsma worked seven innings against the Mets.
Clark, recalled Tuesday, was 0-for-2 with a walk in three pinch-hit appearances.
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