Heath Bell out as Marlins closer
Struggling Marlins reliever Heath Bell has lost his job as closer, at least for the time being.
On Friday night, Bell blew his fourth save in seven chances, and he's given up at least one run in six of his 11 appearances this season. His ERA for 2012 stands at 11.42. As CBSSports.com senior columnist Scott Miller has observed, there are no easy fixes for Bell.
Needless to say, Bell's awful pitching in high-leverage situations is taking a toll on the Marlins and their hopes for contention. And now Guillen has made a change. Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post reports that Bell will no longer close for the Marlins, but Guillen stresses that it's a temporary change. “I talked to Bell," Guillen said. "We had a great conversation. He understands my point. I reminded him we are a better club with him as closer. Right now he is going through a tough time."
Asked who would work the ninth on Saturday night, Guillen quipped: "Mark Buerhle. Making all that money? Earn your money today. Go all nine innings."
As we pointed out earlier this season, Bell's struggles aren't exactly surprising. Just because Bell has a large contract doesn't mean you stick with him regardless of the depths of his performance, and Guillen seems to realize this. So don't be surprised if, say, Edward Mujica settles into the closer's role for the time being.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.