Orioles acquire minor-league left-hander Mike Belfiore from Arizona to complete Josh Bell trade

Since being dealt to Diamondbacks, Bell is hitting .425 with four homers and 27 RBI in 18 Triple-A games

May 12, 2012|By Eduardo A. Encina | The Baltimore Sun

The Orioles have acquired left-handed minor-league reliever Mike Belfiore from the Diamondbacks as the player to be named later in the Josh Bell trade, the club announced Saturday.

The 23-year-old was 0-0 with a 2.37 ERA with 28 strikeouts and just five walks in 19 innings this season with Arizona's high Class-A team in Visalia, Calif. This is the first season in Belfiore's four minor leagie seasons that he's pitching exclusively out of the bullpen.

In four minor-league seasons, Belfiore is 9-16 with a 4.05 ERA and 267 strikeouts in 282 2/3 innings

Bell, once seen as the Orioles' third baseman of the future, was acquired in July 2009 along with minor league pitcher Steve Johnson in the deadline deal that sent closer George Sherrill to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Bell was immediately considered the Orioles’ top hitting prospect, but the switch-hitter battled weight issues and inconsistency and never reached the potential that made him a fourth-round pick of the Dodgers. In 79 games with the Orioles over parts of two seasons, Bell batted .200 with three homers and 18 RBIs in 220 at-bats. He was among the first cuts this spring.

At the time of his trade, Bell was hitting .094 (3-for-32) in nine games at Triple-A Norfolk, but he's now hitting .425/.465/.671 with four homers and 27 RBI in 18 games at Triple-A Reno.

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