I'm going to be blunt here: the Pirates have had a bad opening to the season. That's how it is. We should be used to bad Aprils by now. The Pirates have always been a slow roll type of team. It hasn't been all bad though. One rookie has been starting to roll for the team that's last place in the NL Central and that's Josh Bell
There were many questions for Bell going into the season. The most important of which was whether or not his power would develop. I think we have an answer. In 38 less plate appearances than last year, Bell has five homers. Almost double the three he had last year. Not only that but his slugging percentage is up forty points. In a full season, he's going to smash the numbers he was projected to meet. This power is something the Pirates sorely need with Marte and Kang missing for various flub-ups.
Another concern that Bell is blowing out of the water is his defense. As an outfielder who moved to first base, he went through some growing pains last year posting a -1.0 dWAR. This year, he's slowing moving towards being above average in the fields. In 32 games, he's posted a .1 dWAR and is looking more comfortable with each game. A surprise change from his Pedro Álvarez level defense of last season.
Bell is progressing well, and, in this season, that's the best thing to happen to this team so far. If he keeps trending in the right direction, the Pirates will have a stalwart at first base for years to come.