I’m guessing yesterday wasn’t the first time Cody Ransom has been designated for assignment but there’s little doubt that it was the most suprising to him. After collecting a handful of at-bats between nearly a half dozen teams Ransom seemed to finally find a spot with the Diamondbacks.
Despite cooling down the last two weeks, Ransom has outperformed Ryan Roberts overall this season but a move was still made to bring up Josh Bell from Triple-A Reno. Bell was a former top 100 prospect who was acquired by the D-Backs before the season. He was hitting .381 with 4 HR and 30 RBI at Reno prior to his call-up and went 1 for 3 in his debut with Arizona in Monday’s 6-1 loss to the first place Dodgers.
If anything, the move to Bell shows that Kirk Gibson and company are attempting to push Roberts with competition that won’t just receive some of his playing time this season but a player that could also be a long term replacement if Roberts doesn’t produce. The 36-year old Ransom was filling in nicely, but was definitely not a long term answer at third for the organization. The presence of Bell–who is 11 years younger than Ransom–could be meant to send a message to Roberts that the D-Backs aren’t simply handing him the third base spot without any production. Bell is almost stricktly a third baseman so he wasn’t brought on for versatility and Roberts is only signed through 2012.
Roberts has responded well lately, collecting at least 1 hit in 6 of his last 7 games, but if he doesn’t continue to improve look for the D-Backs to begin to identify a long-term answer at third base–starting with Josh Bell.