16-year-old Cuban outfielder Lazaro Armenteros is getting a lot of attention these days, but a countryman twice his age is also busy making his case for a contract with an MLB team.
FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that 13 teams attended the showcase for Cuban outfielder Alexei Bell today in Mexicali, Mexico. He was able to identify all of the clubs in attendance:
Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com has more details on the three-hour showcase, as Bell slugged 15 home runs during batting practice and against live pitching. He also made throws from right field and did some running. He could begin private workouts for teams in Florida and Arizona soon, but he’ll need to be approved for a visitor visa first.
Listed at 5-foot-7 and 187 pounds on Baseball Reference, the 32-year-old Bell batted .319/.417/.547 over 14 seasons in Cuba’s Serie Nacional. He spent last season with Capitales of Quebec in the Canadian-American Association while batting .317/.363/.424 over 59 games. It was reported last month that Bell left Cuba legally to seek an opportunity in MLB. While he might not be the player he was a few years ago, he’s still drawing plenty of interest.
As opposed to Armenteros, Bell is not subject to MLB’s international bonus pool limits.
It’s been one issue after the next for Indians reliever Andrew Miller, and on Saturday, the left-hander landed back on the 10-day disabled list with right knee inflammation. According to comments made by club manager Terry Francona, Miller’s knee has been a problem since the start of the year. The team has yet to determine a concrete timetable for his return to the bullpen.
Miller, 33, hasn’t looked like his usual sub-2.00 ERA, 2.0+ fWAR self this season, though he paired a 4.40 ERA and 6.3 BB/9 with an impressive 14.4 SO/9 across his first 14 1/3 innings. A left hamstring strain and minor back injury hampered his effectiveness on the mound, though this appears to be a more serious issue — especially given the five weeks he spent recovering from a tendon injury in his right knee last year.
In corresponding moves, the Indians designated right-hander Oliver Drake for assignment and recalled Triple-A right-handers Ben Taylor and Evan Marshall. Taylor, 25, was working on a 3.63 ERA, 1.0 BB/9 and 11.4 SO/9 through 17 1/3 innings in Triple-A Columbus, while 28-year-old Marshall turned in a terrific 0.77 ERA, 0.8 BB/9 and 6.9 SO/9 over his first 11 2/3 innings. Neither reliever has pitched more than a handful of innings at the big league level in 2018.