When the Marlins open the second half of the season Friday night at Marlins Park against the Washington Nationals, the ninth inning will no longer belong to Heath Bell.
In fact, the closers job won't belong to anybody.
On his weekly appearance on the Dan LeBatard Show on 790TheTicket Tuesday, Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said he's going to with a closer by committee approach until Bell -- he hopes -- figures it out.
"... I'm going to go by committee, see who throws the ball better," Guillen said. "I will talk to [Bell] when we come back from the All-Star Break and explain to him why we're going to do this. Hopefully, he'll come back and start throwing the ball better and then he'll go back to his role."
"I have to," Guillen continued. "The players, club, the fans, myself, himself -- it's kind of hard dealing with this every other day."
Bell (2-5, 6.75 ERA) has blown six saves this season -- one more than he did all of last year in San Diego. But he's also had a handful of other situations where he's given up the lead and just hasn't been charged with a blown save because someone else inherited the opportunity or because the Marlins' lead was more than three runs (such was the case in a loss to the Cardinals on June 25).
This is the second time Bell has lost the Marlins closer's job. Guillen took it from him back in May temporarily, giving right-handers Steve Cishek and Edward Mujica and left-hander Randy Choate a couple opportunities to close out games and pick up saves.
Cishek and Juan Carlos Oviedo, who will complete an eight-week suspension for age and identity fraud July 22, are the most likely candidates to replace Bell in the closer's role moving forward. Mujica is expected off the disabled list (broken right pinky toe) Sunday, and also could be in the mix.
> Although the Marlins didn't have a visible representative at Tuesday night's All-Star Game in Kansas City, they'll receive more exposure -- and be exposed more than any other team in the league -- when The Franchise television series begins airing Wednesday night on Showtime.
Wednesday's first episode of the behind-the-scenes look at the Marlins will be one hour long. The next seven episodes will last a half hour.
MLB Productions executive producer David Gavant said the Marlins provided them more access than the Giants did last year, specifically to members of the front-office and ownership. “It’s ground-breaking,” he said.
Marlins President David Samson agreed.
"We promised to give them access to everything and we've delivered that. They're everywhere we are," he said. "They were there when we traded for Carlos Lee. They're there when we send players down. They there when we talk about players, off the field and on the field. It debuts Wednesday and it should be very interesting because there will be a lot of stuff that won't make the show because of the hours of footage.
"When they asked to do the Marlins, I don't think they had any idea what they were in for. I feel badly for next year's team."
> For more Marlins nuggets, check out Barry Jackson's Buzz Column.