For veteran players just trying to get ready for the season, results in spring-training games can sometimes matter less than being able to finish the daily crossword puzzle.
But for Diamondbacks reliever Heath Bell, his first appearance with his new team in Saturday afternoon’s Cactus League opener was anything but trivial.
“Oh, yeah,” he said. “After a year you suck? Yeah, definitely a lot of nerves.”
Coming off a difficult season with the Miami Marlins — a year he’s still reluctant to discuss with reporters — Bell saw Saturday as a chance to make a good first impression.
That’s what he ended up doing thanks to a double-play ball and a strikeout. Bell gave up singles to the first two batters he faced but wiggled out of the jam to work a scoreless third inning.
“Coming into an organization and feeling like I had such a bad year, I wanted to show that I’m completely fine,” Bell said. “Every great athlete has bad years and they bounce right back. I feel like I’m going to bounce back. I need to keep working hard and not let up.”
Heath Bell ready to bounce back with Arizona Diamondbacks
Arizona Republic | Feb 24