Mike Bell Diagnosed with Kidney Cancer, Will Miss Spring Training
Image courtesy of Matt Marton, USA TodayWith Twins pitchers and catchers set to report to spring training in Ft. Myers on Thursday, manager Rocco Baldelli addressed the media on Wednesday morning to inform them that bench coach Mike Bell will miss spring training after being diagnosed with kidney cancer.
Bell wasn't feeling well in mid-January, and when he went to the hospital, a growth was found on his kidney. On January 28th, the growth was removed surgically. He is out of the hospital and home with his family for his recovery.
Baldelli said, "He's doing very well. I've been talking to him a lot." He added, "The situation is obviously serious, but Mike has handled this with great courage. As I said, he's recovering, doing great and looking forward to the next part of his recovery."
From their discussions it is clear that Bell is where he needs to be, at home with his family, but that he is encouraged and hopeful to return to the team when he is ready. In the meantime, it sounds as though he will be given some work that he can do from home.
For the time being, there will not be any staff adjustments, at least until they know a more definitive timeline.
"We'll give Mike some tasks that he will take care of at home. During spring training, I'm sure he'll be watching all of our games and helping us in a lot of ways from home."
The team has been talking to him about things like the roster, his opinion on players in the organization but also free agents. "He's been very eager. I know with everything going on, he's had his attention focused elsewhere. But I think the ability to talk some baseball and have some fun and get the competitive juices flowing have been good for him, and I know he looks forward to it. For now, that's a start."
According to Derek Falvey, Bell will address the media in the next weeks. "He's really encouraged. His doctors are really encouraged. We're just excited for the time he can get back, but in the meantime, we are here to support him and his family."
Baldelli pointed out that people throughout the organization have been supportive. "Our players, the staff, the organization have come behind Mike in every way. Guys were very eager to connect with Mike, talk to Mike, and I know on Mike's end how much that has helped him, helped his family. This has been an emotional time for everybody, but ultimately it comes down to just supporting Mike through this and getting him back to health, and ultimately getting back to where he wants to be and he's really looking forward to getting strong and getting back to things on the baseball side as well."
We certainly wish Mike Bell the best through his recovery. We hope he is able to return to the team soon.
Feel free to extend your well wishes to Mike Bell in the Comments below.
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