Tuesday, June 24, 2008

By Kevin Mark - Angelswin.com Columnist
Former Salt Lake Bees pitcher Steve Shell made his Major League debut for the Washington Nationals last Sunday. In the game Shell pitched one inning and retired the Texas Rangers in order. Tonight against his former team the Los Angeles Angels he pitched two innings, giving up no runs, two hits, while striking out one. I was able to see both games on television and it was exciting to see Shell finally make it to the big leagues.

For two seasons I watched Shell work hard as a starter and reliever for the Salt Lake Bees. But despite the hard work and Major League talent, Shell could never find a level of consistency and at the end of the 2007 season he was released by the Angels. During the off season Shell signed a minor league contract with the Washington Nationals. After posting a 2.62 ERA and a 54/14 K/BB in 58.1 innings for Washington's AAA team at Columbus Shell got the call to the Major Leagues. Steve Shell is a talented pitcher with three Major League quality pitches. If he is able to find consistency he will be a positive addition to the Nationals bullpen.

What I remember most about Shell's career in Salt Lake is that he is a great guy. Before a game that he wasn't scheduled to pitch he would always take the time to visit with fans and sign autographs. He was a good friend of Dave "Net Man" Pratt and I know Dave would be very happy and proud of Shell for making it to the Major Leagues. I am also happy for Steve Shell and I wish him nothing but good luck. I am rooting for him to have a long and productive Major League career.
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