The Lancaster Barnstormers have continued to build their roster toward Opening Night with the addition of two former Major League players, it was announced today by manager Butch Hobson.
Switch hitting corner infielder Josh Bell, a former Baltimore Oriole, and lefty-swinging outfielder Caleb Gindl, a former Milwaukee Brewer, have signed with the ballclub, pushing the spring roster to 22 and the number of players with Major League experience to six.
Bell, 29, made his big league debut with the Orioles on July 1, 2010, playing third base against the Oakland A’s. He went 1-for-4 in the game. His biggest game came on August 21 of that season when the switch hitter slammed homers off Cliff Lee in consecutive innings, knocking in five runs to lead the Orioles to an 8-6 victory over the Texas Rangers at the Ballpark at Arlington.
The native of Rockford, IL returned to Baltimore after the All-Star break in 2011, appearing in 26 more games. He also played in 21 games for the Diamondbacks in 2012, hitting a home run off Los Angeles’ Aaron Harang on May 22.
Bell hit .311 for Class AAA Reno in 2012. The following year, in his last season in the US, he played 52 games in the International League, batting .226 for Charlotte and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He spent 2014 in Korea and 2015 in Mexico.
“He is a big league guy,” said Hobson. “This gives us a really top flight Triple-A to Major League caliber player at the corners.”
Gindl, 27, batted .242 with five homers and 14 RBI in 57 games for the Brewers in 2013. He made his debut as a pinch hitter on June 13. On July 21 of that season, the native of Pensacola, FL snapped a scoreless tie with a homer off Miami’s Ryan Webb in the bottom of the 13th inning. He twice homered in consecutive games and hit three of his five long balls off the Cincinnati Reds.
He returned for eight games in 2014.
Signed out of high school in 2007, Gindl finished 10th in batting, third in hits and second in doubles in the South Atlantic League in 2008, his first full season. He was named to that league’s year-end All-Star Team on a squad which also included Giancarlo Stanton, Jason Heyward and Madison Bumgarner.
Gindl spent part or all of four seasons with Class AAA Nashville, batting .307 in 2011. Last year, he went to the Toronto organization and played at Class AAA Buffalo.
“From what we have heard, fans will really love the way he plays,” said Hobson. “Gindl is a hard-nosed, Blake Gailen type player who makes highlight reel plays at all three positions in the outfield and handles the bat really well.”