(SAN DIEGO) — When the Miami Marlins signed All-Star closer Heath Bell away from the San Diego Padres this offseason, they thought they were getting the guy who saved 43 games in 2011. Instead they’re being forced to remove him from the closer’s spot.
Bell has struggled mightily in his first season in Miami. After blowing five saves all of last season, Bell already has four blown saves in seven chances this season. After his latest blown save on Friday, Bell’s ERA ballooned all the way to 11.42. His WHIP is also an alarming 2.88. He signed a three-year $27 million contract during the offseason.
“Right now, we are going through a tough time,” Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. “It happens to the best of them. We are going to move him down for maybe a few days. It’s not like we are removing him from the job. …I made it very clear, it’s not a punishment.”
Guillen said that he is “leaning” towards having Steve Cishek replace Bell as the team’s closer for now.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire
Jill Martin, CNN