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Which Heath Bell is Arizona getting?
|Role ||Name ||Throws
|Closer ||J.J. Putz ||R
|Setup ||Heath Bell ||R
|Setup ||David Hernandez ||R
|Middle Relief ||Matt Reynolds ||L
|Middle Relief ||Tony Sipp
|Middle Relief ||Brad Ziegler ||R
|Long Reliever ||Josh Collmenter
Back in 2006, then San Diego Padres GM Kevin Towers made a trade to acquire a struggling Heath Bell from the New York Mets. The move paid off big time, as Bell became a dynamite setup man for Trevor Hoffman and eventually, an All-Star closer himself.
Six years later, Towers has done it again, and he's hoping for similar results.
Bell, 35, is coming off of a terrible season with the Marlins, one that saw him lose his job as closer and pitch to a 5.09 ERA and 1.55 WHIP, both the highest numbers he's had since his final season with the Mets in 2006, when he had a 5.11 ERA and 1.68 WHIP.
Arizona needs Bell to return to his All-Star form, if for no other reason than to give the team insurance should closer J.J. Putz miss time with injury.
Putz, who has been outstanding with the Diamondbacks, pitching to a 2.48 ERA and picking up 77 saves over the past two seasons, has battled injuries throughout his career and there's always a chance he could be sidelined once again.
The key to it all, however, is 27-year-old David Hernandez.
Hernandez emerged as one of baseball's best relief pitchers in 2012, posting a 2.50 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and striking out 98 batters in just over 68 innings of work.
Since moving to the bullpen for good in 2011, Hernandez has been outstanding, pitching to a 2.94 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in 146 games, picking up 175 strikeouts in 137.2 innings pitched.
Bell in the seventh inning, Hernandez in the eighth and Putz to close things out has the chance to be an overpowering trio for Arizona in 2013.