When Pie returns, Bell may stay put

When Pie returns, Bell may stay put

BOSTON -- Orioles top position prospect Josh Bell isn't automatically going to be the odd man out when Felix Pie is activated early next week.

"I don't know actually what the situation is going to be," interim manager Juan Samuel said before Friday's series opener against the Red Sox at Fenway Park. "I think we're going to deal with that as we approach that day. I'm not sure."

That Samuel was noncommittal leaves the door open for the O's to perhaps option a reliever, such as Frank Mata (0-0, 8.03 ERA), who allowed four earned runs while recording just one out Thursday night. Matt Albers (3-3, 5.35 ERA) is also a candidate, but he is out of options -- meaning he would have to clear waivers -- and given that Albers tossed 2 2/3 scoreless innings against Oakland, Baltimore probably wouldn't risk losing him.

Samuel said he "couldn't guarantee anything" concerning the pending roster move, but made it clear when Bell was recalled Thursday that he wouldn't just sit the bench. Bell went 1-for-4 in his Major League debut --in addition to committing an error at third base -- and served as the O's designated hitter Friday.

"You don't want to come here and just leave," said Bell, whose goal is to turn a short-term promotion into a more permanent role. "I've just got to do what I can to help them win and hopefully I'll change somebody's mind."

The 23-year-old Bell said being in the Major Leagues hasn't really sunk in, but he was glad to get his first hit in the books with Thursday's seventh-inning single.

"[Adam] Jones was telling me it took him 11 at-bats or something [to get his first hit], so that was nice getting that one out of the way," Bell said. "I don't have to worry about it anymore."