Cincinnati Reds: Shortened-season will test David Bell’s aptitude

MIAMI, FLORIDA - AUGUST 29: Manager David Bell #25 of the Cincinnati Reds looks on. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - AUGUST 29: Manager David Bell #25 of the Cincinnati Reds looks on. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Shortened-season will give Reds skipper David Bell a chance to prove himself.

With Rob Manfred recently promised that baseball will be back in 2020, fans are all standing by wondering what the season will look like. After an eight-game improvement in 2019, David Bell will handed the tough task of moving the Cincinnati Reds from an also-ran to a contender in 2020 with a limited number of games to do so. Can he get the job done?

David Bell, a Cincinnati kid, and product of Moeller High School that produced other Reds greats like, Barry Larkin and Ken Griffey Jr., is also the son of, Buddy Bell, who played for the Reds between 1985-1988 and the grandson of Reds great Gus Bell, who suited up for the team from 1952-1961.

When the Reds chose Bell, I had my doubts. He checked some boxes, sure. Bell has an analytical mind, which is a nice change, but during the search, he was not popular among all fans. Joe Girardi, seemed like the best fit to get the team over the hump quickly, however, I believe the Reds ended up with the best man for the job.

When Bell, put on the uniform at his introduction conference, something felt different. He seemed a bit timid, but you could tell he had the fire and a love for the game and a love for the Cincinnati Reds organization.

David Bell truly seems to care, not just about his job as a manager in Major League Baseball, but the fact he’s the skipper for the Cincinnati Reds. Bell will certainly fight for his team and players, as we literally saw him sprint from the dugout during Cincinnati’s brawl with the Pittsburgh Pirates last season.

Bell helped lead the Reds from 67 wins in 2018 to 75 last season, and that was with the 12th ranked scoring offense in the league. The additions of Shogo Akiyama, Nick Castellanos and Mike Moustakas should definitely help boost the team’s hitting heading into 2020.

While changes for the players are inevitable heading into 2020, not much is discussed in the realm of the coaching staff. With a limited number of games and the possibility of multiple doubleheaders per week, David Bell is going to have to strategic as to when players need rest, how to go about practice and whether or not to ride the hot hand.

Over 162 games, managers can be a bit patient when it comes to sluggish pitching performances, allowing first-year players to make rookie mistakes and developing young talent while getting in enough work for the veterans. However, in what could be a two-to-three month season, every game is going to count.

With an emphasis on division-play, the Reds will have to find success against their NL Central rivals. Cincinnati has the best rotation among the teams in their division and the improved lineup will give the Reds a solid chance to plate enough runs to win every game they play.

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The front office has done its job. David Bell has the players he needs, both on the mound and in the field. A shortened-season is sure to test the second-year skipper’s aptitude, but, strange as it may sound, Bell’s inexperience in the position may work in his favor heading into 2020.