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D-backs shake up third-base situation

D-backs shake up third-base situation

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D-backs shake up third-base situation
PHOENIX -- The D-backs on Monday recalled Josh Bell from Triple-A Reno, designated Cody Ransom for assignment and shifted Ryan Roberts to more of a utility role.

Bell batted eighth in the lineup Monday and is expected to become the team's every day third baseman for the time being.

"He'll get a lot of playing time, yes," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He was very productive [at Reno], we feel like he deserved an opportunity to come up here. It'll move Ryan Roberts to more of a utility guy, he might play more second base, move him around a little bit, he's versatile in that role."

Bell was hitting .381 with nine doubles, four home runs and 30 RBIs in 26 games with the Aces. He was acquired from the Orioles on April 21 for a player to be named later, which turned out to be Mike Belfiore, who was sent to Baltimore on May 12.

"He swings the bat good, he's got gap power," Gibson said of Bell, a switch-hitter. "Not a huge home run hitter, but he swings the bat well from both sides of the plate, probably more from the left side. He seems to make all the plays and he's got a good arm. We're hoping we bring him into a good environment."

Bell's performance from from May 7-May 13 earned him Pacific Coast League Player of the Week honors.

"I feel blessed, not just to be in the big leagues, just to play baseball," Bell said. "[The team] has welcomed me in, they are laid back. I'm thankful I've got guys like that."

Bell appeared in 79 Major League games with the Orioles from 2010-11, going 44-for-220 with three homers and 18 RBIs.

The D-backs liked Bell in part because he was limiting his strikeouts and putting the ball in play. In 97 at-bats in Triple-A, Bell went down on strikes 17 times.

Roberts and Ransom combined to strikeout 43 times in 171 at-bats.

"We're looking for more contact. Hopefully he'll be able to provide that," Gibson said. "I've watched him on video quite a bit over the last couple weeks. He swung the bat well. We feel he deserves an opportunity to come up here and show what he can do."

Ransom hit .269 with a career-high four home runs and 13 RBI in 17 games with the D-backs this season.

"Cody did well for us early on, ultimately we made the decision we were going to make a change at third base," Gibson said. "He did a good job, hopefully he'll come back into our system. He could add depth for us later this year."

Entering Monday, Roberts was batting .227 with two homers and 16 RBIs. The 31-year-old has struggled in the field this season, with six errors.

"He's not benched, he'll get plenty of time," Gibson said. "We talked last night, yes. We're here to win ballgames, it's nothing personal against anybody. We want versatility and to get better. This is the direction we decided to go."

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