Trevor Bell had trouble sleeping Monday night on the eve of his Triple-A debut.
"I was definitely nervous," he admitted. "All I wanted to do was throw strikes, pretty much."
If Bell has trouble hitting the hay following Tuesday's performance, it will be for an entirely different reason.
The 22-year-old right-hander tossed a masterful two-hit shutout Tuesday, leading the Salt Lake Bees to a 1-0 blanking of the Colorado Spring Sky Sox.
As souvenirs of his first Pacific Coast League start, Bell got the game's lineup card and ball, which he plans to send home to his father, concrete proof of a dream-like night.
Selected by the Angels in the first round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, Bell started the season with Double-A Arkansas. After 11 starts, the California native was promoted and given a chance to test his numbers -- 4-3 with a 2.23 ERA -- at the next level.
"I wasn't really sure what to expect," he said of facing Triple-A hitters, including a handful with Major League experience, for the first time.
But after the initial shock and first-inning outs were in the books, the newest Bee and batterymate Bobby Wilson looked like a veteran combination.
"We were on the same page," Bell said. "I think I shook [Wilson] off maybe once."
Mixing a healthy fastball with Bell's slider and changeup, the pair kept the Sky Sox at bay. Bell faced the minimum 27 batters, did not issue a walk and threw 67 of an economical 96 pitches for strikes.
Despite the dazzling debut, Bell remains focused on the future. He cited several improvements he can make with his pitches and said he still has his work cut out for him.
As for when that next -- and final -- promotion may come, Bell maintained a singular approach.
"Each step is a new time and when you try to think ahead, that's when you get in trouble," he said. "So I'm trying not to think about [getting to the Majors]."
Instead, Bell will check the Angels' Tuesday night box score with another debut in mind: Sean O'Sullivan's.
"He's a good buddy of mine," Bell said of the right-hander, who won his first big league outing, 8-1.
And while MLB.com's early headline fittingly read "Poised O'Sullivan earns win in debut," it easily could have described Bell.