Bell brings 'A' game to Triple-A

GLENDALE — By all accounts, it hasn’t taken Trevor Bell long to get accustomed to Triple-A baseball.

But if you ask him, he has yet to have a moment to get anywhere close to settled.

Called up to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s Salt Lake Bees earlier this week, he made his debut on Tuesday and promptly twirled one of the best games of his professional career.

“I was locked in or something,” said Bell, 22, of the outing. “It was the best start I’ve had.”

Emerging from the Double-A Texas League with the league’s lowest earned-run average and walks/hits per innings pitched, Bell wasted no time in announcing his presence for the Bees, as he gave up just two hits in nine innings, facing the minimum 27 batters in Salt Lake’s 1-0 win against Colorado Springs on Tuesday.

“Honestly, I was nervous as hell going into it,” said Bell of making his debut against a team that featured Major League Baseball-experienced batters such as Matt Murton, Sal Fasano and Mark Bellhorn. “When you see them in the lineup, it gets you a little scared.”

His performance certainly didn’t provide any evidence of nerves or intimidation, though, as Bell got two double plays behind him, while striking out four and walking none. He needed just 96 pitches for the complete game, throwing 67 for strikes.

As the game progressed, though, he never got caught up in the magnitude of the situation. He simply couldn’t afford to.

“You gotta just keep going,” he said. “I had all three pitches working.

“I just focused on what was ahead for me every inning.”

The excellence of his performance was all the more impressive considering that not only was it his debut, but also because of the situation.

After Arkansas’ 7-3 win against Springfield on Sunday, Bell was called into the office of Travelers Manager Bobby Magallanes.

“I wasn’t sure what was going on,” said Bell, who admitted that being traded even crossed his mind. “I didn’t know what to expect.”

But, instead, he was told he was getting moved up to the Bees. And the next day he took a morning flight out to Utah. He spent his first game with the Bees in the dugout, trying not to fall asleep. So rushed was the trip, that all of his belongings were tucked away in the clubhouse during the game. And, of course, the next day he went out and pitched the best game of his career thus far.

“It was probably the craziest three days, even crazier than when I was drafted, of my pro career so far,” he said.

The Bees have now moved on to Sacramento with Bell still having yet to get settled in Utah and traveling with all his luggage.

Heading into Friday, Salt Lake was ½ a game behind Colorado Springs in the Pacific Coast League Pacific North standings.

Bell, who sports a 1.97 ERA this year, is scheduled to start against Sacramento on Sunday.

When he was promoted, so too was starting pitcher Sean O’Sullivan. Despite a solid start with the Angels, O’Sullivan is back with the Bees, as well. But, for now, it appears Bell is staying put.

And, after Sunday, the Bees return home for a three-game set with Fresno.

Maybe then Bell will finally get a chance to settle into things.

“This is the type of thing you hear about going on in the minor leagues and I’m living it,” Bell said. “It’s in disarray and it’s a lot of fun.”


 GRANT GORDON is the sports editor. He can be reached at (818) 637-3225 or grant.gordon@latimes.com.

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