Heath Bell: Right-Hander Pulled from Miami Marlins Closer Role for 'a Few Days'

Kenny DeJohn@@kennydejohnAnalyst IIIMay 6, 2012

Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen has decided to pull offseason acquisition Heath Bell from the closer's role "for a few days," reports Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post.

Bell, who signed a three-year, $27 million contract this offseason with a team option for 2015, has been nothing short of terrible in 2012 upon his arrival from San Diego.

Through 11 appearances, Bell has compiled a gaudy 11.42 ERA and four blown saves in seven chances. His WHIP of 2.885 is not what a team would like to see out of any pitcher, let alone their closer.

Bell was a part of the Marlins' flurry of acquisitions this winter. Guillen, Bell, Jose Reyes, Carlos Zambrano and Mark Buehrle figured to all be keys in the Marlins reversing their losing ways.

Instead, Bell has been a key contributor to the team's subpar play and disappointing results (13-14, fourth in NL East).

Technically speaking, Bell hasn't officially lost the closer's job.

When you're making $9 million a season, you have to be terrible for quite an extended period of time to justify being yanked from a prominent role.

Once the 34-year-old Bell regains his old form in a much less important role, he will be given the job back.

It will be a closer-by-committee situation in Miami for the time being, with Steve Cishek, Edward Mujica and Randy Webb getting a majority of the opportunities.

Guillen did mention, however, that if Bell were not ready to regain his role by next week, Cishek would be the team's primary closer.

It's a good sign for Bell that Guillen isn't giving up on him.

"He has been the best closer in the game the last three years, number-wise, and that’s why I think we have a lot of confidence in him," said the Marlins manager.

With that kind of statement and vote of confidence, there's a very good chance that we'll see Bell closing out games for the Marlins in the not-so-distant future.

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