Heath Bell Demoted

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Heath Bell won't be ruining our evenings in the near future:
Heath Bell was relieved of his closer duties Saturday.

One day after Bell cracked in the ninth for the fifth time, manager Ozzie Guillen stripped him of the closers role, at least for the time being.
That means Steve Cishek will close for now, an answer to the prayers of most Marlins fans (though he will not be available on Sunday). However, this will likely be a temporary fix if Bell can work out his issues. Ozzie Guillen said Saturday, "It's not like I'm removing him from his job. We're going to come up with something positive to resolve the problem."

The Herald's Barry Jackson sums up Heath's issues on the mound:
Heath Bell's velocity is down a mile from last year (to 92.9 mph), but the bigger issue, according to a Marlins official, is he's not throwing his curveball for strikes. Plus, metrics show batters are swinging at a lot less of his non-strikes than last year.
Meanwhile, Mark Buehrle scoffs at the notion that another pitcher needs to finish his games, throwing a complete game on Saturday night for the win.


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