Pirates A.M. — Where to bat Bell?

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Bell's combo of power and patience make him a good fit at several spots in the lineup. (Christopher Horner photo)
Bell’s combo of power and patience make him a good fit at several spots in the lineup. (Christopher Horner photo)

By Rob Biertempfel

BRADENTON, Fla. — If you were filling out the Pirates’ lineup card, where would you put Josh Bell? He mostly batted third or fourth at Triple-A Indy and Double-A Altoona, but …

“I feel like in the minor leagues, it was a little bit different,” Bell said. “You get up here and there are guys that have been doing it for years. Last year, I felt comfortable hitting second. I feel comfortable fifth or sixth. Wherever I can help the team, wherever I can learn my responsibilities in that part of the lineup. I could lead off if I had to. I’ve done that in the past. Wherever I’m slated.”

>>> The relocation of the Aug. 20 game vs. the Cardinals is not yet finalized, but should be a done deal in the next couple of days. The game will be played at BB&T Ballpark at Bowman Field, a 4,500-seat minor league stadium built in 1926.

Because the game is being played domestically, MLB did not need the permission of the Players’ Association to change the venue. That was not the case last year, when the union’s opposition shot down the proposed games in Puerto Rico between the Pirates and Marlins.

Fans who already bought tickets for the Aug. 20 game at PNC Park will be reimbursed by the Pirates. The Pirates will be reimbursed an undisclosed amount by MLB for the revenue they’ll lose by giving up the home game.

Bowman Field is where the short-season Class A Williamsport Crosscutters (a Phillies affiliate) play. Tony Watson and Jared Hughes made their pro debuts there. “Who’s the super-fan there?” Watson asked. Hughes remembered: “Rhashan. He’s their director of smiles. He’ll be there, for sure.” Rhashan West-Bey is indeed a fixture at Bowman Field, as this MLB.com story from 2012 explains.

>>> You want links? I’ve got links:

Josh Bell was pleased with his first game action of spring training 

Ivan Nova had a message for his pals: “We going to do it at my pace.” 

Pirates 13, Yankees 1 No contest. 

>>> Tuesday’s game: Braves (2-8) at Pirates (8-3), 1:05 p.m., LECOM Park, Bradenton. TV: Root.

Braves: Jace Peterson 6, Emilio Bonifacio 8, Brandon Phillips 4, Adonis Garcia 5, Anthony Recker 2, Ronald Acuna 9, Micah Johnson 7, Matt Tuiasosopo 3, Braxton Davidson DH. LHP Jaime Garcia

Also pitching for Braves: RH Matt Wisler, RH Jim Johnson, RH Arodys Vizcaino

Pirates: Adam Frazier 5, Phil Gosselin 6, Austin Meadows 9, John Jaso 3, Chris Stewart 2, Max Moroff 4, Chris Bostick 7, Eury Perez 8, RHP Trevor Williams 1.

Also pitching for Pirates: LH Steven Brault, RH Jared Hughes, LH Antonio Bastardo, LH Ty Webb

>>> Wednesday’s game: Dominican Republic at Pirates, 1:05 p.m., LECOM Park, Bradenton. Webcast: pirates.com

Dominican Republic: Lineup TBA. RHP Wily Peralta. Also pitching for Dominican Republic: TBA

Pirates: Lineup TBA. Gerrit Cole. Also pitching for Pirates: RH Tyler Glasnow, LH Dan Runzler, RH Angel Sanchez, RH Pat Light

>>> Thursday’s game: Pirates at Rays, 1:05 p.m., Charlotte Sports Park, Port Charlotte. Webcast: pirates.com

Pirates: TBA. Also pitching for Pirates: TBA

Rays: Lineup TBA. LHP Blake Snell Also pitching for Rays: RH Tommy Hunter, RH David Carpenter, RH Ryan Garton, RH Kevin Gadea, LH Justin Marks

Rob Biertempfel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at rbiertempfel@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.

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