The Orioles made a few moves before this afternoon's series finale against the Rays. Michael Gonzalez claimed the vacant roster spot that opened up when Chris Tillman was demoted last night. Jim Johnson was moved from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL. And rookie third baseman Josh Bell was returned to Triple-A Norfolk to bring in some much-needed bullpen relief in the form of Tides starter Troy Patton.

Bell was called up last week when catcher Matt Wieters was placed on the 15-day DL, and I was hoping the Orioles would give him a long look. That way they would have a better idea of what they could expect from him in 2011. But he started just one game. Worse yet, Bell, who was finally heating up after a frigid start for the Tides, got only 19 at-bats in two July stints with the Orioles (he hit .263).

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So why, Juan Samuel, didn't we see more Bell, considering it only made sense to bring him up if he was going to play regularly?

"Tejada was signed to be the third baseman for this ballclub, and Tejada likes to play," Samuel told reporters yesterday. "The times that we've been able to have Tejada out of the lineup or DH, we have to talk to him. He earned that right with all he's done in the game."

Yikes.

Was it Tejada's decision to keep Alfredo Simon in for a third inning of relief last night, too?

To his credit, Bell {photo by The Baltimore Sun} was positive about the demotion. "I feel I need to be playing," he told MASN. "I look forward to it and hopefully I'll get down there and work out the kinks and hopefully they won't be able to send me down next time."

I agree with that sentiment. He needs to swing the bat and work on those throws to first base every day. And if the Orioles decide to trade Tejada (showcasing the veteran is another reason Bell rode the pine pony), we'll finally get our extended look at Bell — one where he isn't just spitting out sunflower seeds in the dugout.

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