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Heath Bell: "I'm not going to back down on my pitching style," Marlins trade for outfielder

    Ozzie Guillen didn't care for Heath Bell's pitch selection in Friday's near-catastrophe, and in particular the 2-1 curveball that Bell threw to Joaquin Arias, the Giants' leadoff hitter in the ninth, with the Marlins ahead by three runs. Arias took the pitch for a ball and eventually doubled on a 3-2 fastball to set the stage for a Giants rally and Bell's exit. Steve Cishek was brought in to replace Bell and preserve the 7-6 victory.

     "That's bad pitch selection," Guillen said Friday.

     On Saturday, Guillen's opinion hadn't changed.

     "When you're up by three runs, the pitch selection was very poor," Guillen said. "I want him to be aggerssive with his fastball. That's the best pitch he has. The breaking ball is not working every once in a while. Just give people your fastball. I will take that."

     But Bell said he thought the pitch was appropriate for the situation.

     "I felt like I should have thrown a breaking ball in that situation, and I've done that in the past," Bell said. "Anybody can second-guess me anyway they want, but I've pitched a certain way -- and the key word is "pitched" -- and I'll throw any pitch at any given time. And I'm not going to back down on my pitching style. I'm not going to second-guess some of the pitches I throw."

     Bell said he has had no conversations with Guillen since the season started. He said he spoke frequently with San Diego Padres manager Bud Black during his time there, but also pointed out that Black is a former big-league pitcher. Bell said he didn't have many conversations with Mets managers Willie Randolph and Art Howe, either.

     "Ozzie doesn't talk to me very often," Bell said. "I don't know if there's a language barrier, or what. I'm open to talk. I have talked to him in the past. I like him as a manager. I like him as a guy, even before he was my manager. I had some conversations in spring training with him, but I really haven't sat down and talked pitching with him."

      Guillen said he still considers Bell to be his closer, but added that had a bad "gut feeling" about Bell early on in Friday's ninth inning and decided to take him out after the pitcher gave up hits to three of the first four San Francisco batters.

       "He's my guy," Guillen said. "Nobody's going to change my mind. But, last night for some reason, my gut feeling wasn't what I wanted. There's nothing harder in baseball than when you take your pitcher out, especially your closer, because you don't want to take their confidence."


      Marlins trade for outfield depth -- The Marlins acquired veteran outfielder Justin Ruggiano on Saturday from the Houston Astros in exchange for minor-league catcher Jobduan Morales. Ruggiano, 30, has a .226 average in parts of three seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays. This season, Ruggiano is hitting .325 with five home runs for Triple A Oklahoma City.

      Ruggiano hit .248 with four home runs in 105 at bats for the Rays last season. Ruggiano was assigned to Triple A New Orleans.

      Morales, a former ninth-round pick, spent last season at Single A Greensboro and Jamestown, where he hit .275 in 55 games. He has spent the 2012 at extended spring training.


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Heath Bell is providing good material for Showtime.


Marlins made trade for journeyman OF'er adding outfield depth ,for the next trade they will make using the other guys already on the roster. Cogs?Petey?Cousins?On the surface,it looks like Lomo will be moved back to LF when Gaby comes back, and they started Solano in LF,who has never played there before. Something else must be working.

Mr Phelps

Not that it matters, but, how come there the Marlins did not announce the attendence for today's game, in the box score or at the stadium. Did Samson's phantom attendence counter finally self destruct and burn up due to gross abuse?


Marlins send out Mattison. Gaby coming back tomorrow?

Flav C

If he is indeed coming back, he is leaving NOLA in style: Hit a HR today.


Heath bell is starting to smell like jorge julio to me and as far as rugiano I saw morales play in the pen league seemed like a good switch hitting catcher to me with buck swinging like he does and skipworth not being ready I think catching depht is more important than outfield depth right now

Flav C

Kyle Skipworth hit for the cycle in the 13-10 win against the Chattanooga Lookouts!!!
Skipworth went 4-4, including a Grand Slam HR! He finished the game with 6 RBIs.

Beinfest Blows

Heath Smell will prove to be the worst deal the Marlins have made since whats his name. Oh yeah. Cabrera.

Mr Obvious

Why would the Marlins call up a journeyman stiff that crappy Houston doesnt even want. Call up Gaby,move Lomo back to left,he cant play 1b worth a crap either.

Flav C

Funny posts here. First, people come here and say "send Gaby down! Move LoMo to 1st!".
Now they come back and say "Call up Gaby! Move LoMo back to LF."
I'm glad we are just fans and not managers.

Stan M

BB, that's a great appelation...Heath Smells...that's it for me until I see different. Hope it catches on. Regarding attendance, I bought into that excuse that 2-3 thousand were walking around concourse at any given time. But it sure looks like this ballpark is more empty than full. That does not bode well for this clubs future.
Our minor league system is supposed to be one of worst in majors, but I see some hope. After all, we only need one or two really good promotions each year and some second tier helpmates to fill in for injuries. Yelich, out top prospect was moved from 48th to 15th on Keith Law's prospect list. Smolinski is hitting at least acceptably in AA ball and I wish they brought him up instead of some Astro retread. One of two kids we got for Cantu is pitching very well in relief in AA ball. Our top power prospect, Ozuma, has improved greatly in May over April. In low A ball, our #1 draft pick, Fernandez, is obviously ouclassing the league at 19 YO. Last start...6 innings, 3 hits, 1 walk, 10 Ks. He's 5-0. And second kid, a lefty named Conley isn't much behind him. He's 5-1, 51 IP, 35 hits, 19 walks, and 62 ks. Then my boy Keys is still up there at .391 and probably could now jump to high A.
As juanv said above, catching is our bigger worry. We have enough OFers, some with a good upside.
It's one thing for Heath Smell to stink up the joint. It's quite another matter to do so and then criticize the manager who has (for reasons I don't understand) stuck by him.

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