Pitchers and catchers for the Minnesota Twins are due to arrive in Florida on Friday for the start of spring training, but sadly they will do so without one of their favorite coaches.
Mike Bell will miss the team’s entire spring training after undergoing surgery for kidney cancer. Bell first came to the Twins prior to the 2020 season to replace Derek Shelton, who had left to manage the Pittsburgh Pirates.
USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweeted out the news:
“Prayers to #Twins bench coach Mike Bell who will miss spring training after undergoing surgery for kidney cancer. He had surgery to remove a tumor from his kidney Feb. 4. and will remain home in Arizona.”
Bell comes from a long line of high-profile MLB names. He is the brother of David Bell, son of Buddy Bell and grandson of Gus Bell.
Bell did spend time in the Majors as a player as well. He was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the first round of the 1993 amateur draft, and after bouncing around in the minors, he finally made his Major League debut playing for the Cincinnati Reds in July 2000.
He played the remainder of the season, hitting .222 with two home runs and four RBI in 19 games.
Following his retirement as a player, Bell went on to coach the Yakima Bears, a minor league affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
He managed the Visalia Rawhide in 2008-09. Bell was most recently the Director of Player Development for the Diamondbacks before moving on to become the Twins’ bench coach, taking Shelton’s place.