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Heath Bell close to closing again

    NEW YORK -- Don't be surprised if Ozzie Guillen signals for Heath Bell the next time there's a ninth-inning save situation. Guillen said Bell merits another chance.

    "We're thinking about putting him back where he belongs," Guillen said. "We're going to give him another opportunity."

     Bell, who was an absolute bust before the All-Star break and the poster child of disaster for the Marlins, has looked like a new pitcher of late. In his 10 relief outings covering nine innings since the break, Bell has not allowed a run, given up only three hits, and struck out eight to go with three walks.

     The reason?

     "I fixed my mechanics," Bell said. "There was something wrong all year. I found out what it was a couple of weeks ago. I realized what I was doing. I feel like the person I was before."

     Specifically, Bell said he shortened his stride by three or four inches. He said that slight adjustment has enabled him to keep the ball down in the strike zone.

     "If I stride too long, I can't reach out in front of me, so therefore everything's up," Bell said. "My pitches aren't as sharp. I can't finish. You can kind of not make up for it by not pushing off, not throwing has hard, ease up, drop your arm angle....But as soon as I shortened up my stride, everything clicked, every pitch was -- 90 percent of the time -- exactly where I wanted it to be, just like I was in previous years."

     Bell said he didn't "feel right" as far back as spring training.

     "I found out what it was," Bell said. "I think I strided too far at the end of spring and into the season, and it was creating a bad habit, and then everybody else was about my arm, about my head, about second-guessing me about what pitches I threw....I created a bad habit in spring, and nobody caught it."

     Bell said he figured out the flaw on his own.

     "I'm my own best coach," he said. "I'm not trying to take anything away from (pitching coach Randy) St. Claire. I'm not saying he's bad. I'm just saying my pitching style is unique and I need to figure it out, and I figured it out."

     Bell acknowledged that he "stunk" the first half.

     "I don't know if I was the worst pitcher in the game, but I was making a run for it," he said.

     Guillen said he met with St. Claire earlier today to discuss bullpen roles, and both felt that Bell was a better fit for the ninth inning than Cishek, who they see as someone better able to throw more than one frame, if necessary.

     Said St. Claire: "For me, I'd rather have Bell as the closer, because Bell is a one-inning guy and Cishek is a multi-inning reliever, as well as Dunn. So I think it better fits us with him as closer."

     _______________

     Jose Reyes takes a 25-game hitting streak into tonight's game, along with a sore right hand. Reyes jammed his hand on Friday in Washington, which led to swelling on the top of his hand between his thumb and index finger.

      The swelling has decreased somewhat, but Reyes has decided to wear a thumb guard, starting with tonight's game. A switch-hitter, Reyes said it is more difficult to bat from the right side than it does from the left due to the injury.

     _________________

     Lineups:

     Marlins: 1. Petersen, lf; 2. Ruggiano, cf; 3. Reyes, ss; 4. Lee, 1b; 5. Stanton, rf; 6. Dobbs, 3b; 7. Green, 2b; 8. Buck, c; 9. Eovaldi, p.

     Mets: 1. Tejada, ss; 2. Baxter, rf; 3. Wright, 3b; 4. Davis, 1b; 5. Murphy, 2b; 6. Valdespin, lf; 7. Torres, cf; 8. Thole, c; 9. Young, p. 

Comments

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tr shour

"Bell better suited for closer role than Cishek" according to Fozzie and St Claire. Translation: Let's hope Bell doesn't screw up for the rest of the 2012 season so we can trade him and get rid of his contract in the off-season.

laurelbowie

Picking up from the previous thread, I'd take Stanton over Harper. Harper can do a lot things well, and he's going to be a very good player, but I'm not convinced he's going to be a superstar. Yes, Stanton could be injury-prone, but there is no guarantee that Harper won't be as well. Stanton is going to get better and better over the next few years and having that kind of power in the middle of the order is a real game-changer.
Maybe somebody can answer a question for me. As a devout Mormon, isn't Harper required to take a couple of years off to do missionary work?

Brigham Henny Youngman

Harper has taken a vow with the Mormons to wait till he's married ,to start his 'missionary' work.

laurelbowie

Thanks for the help.

Lou

I feel pretty comfortable about Bell closing this one out? How many of you would bet ALL your assets straight up for comparable worth that Bell saves this game if he pitches with NO relief help if he struggles?

mr whipple

Marlins would be right letting Bell close again ,as they have nothing to lose and everything to gain if he does well, to dump him and his contract in the off season or even before the Aug 31 waiver play-off date for trades.

flagstafffishfan

Nice game tonight. It should be interesting to see if this team will give Ruggiano a shot next year in the OF. If and that's a big if, he can keep it up it would be a cost savings for one of the spots. As for Bell they need to show the league what he's got I agree, we have a cheap closer with Cishek and now we pretty much know that. One of the BIG questions will be how will LoMo do next year at 1B? If he remains a .240 hitter we'll have another situation where he can't be hidden in the lineup. I am hoping that LoMo has just been banged up and he will finally take care of that knee, which is what should've been done this year. Still gonna need a veteran bat to protect Stanton. Good game again and nice to watch Reyes with the hit streak, and of course watching Stanton punish balls.

Lou

Dear Flags, SloMo is STILL trying to avoid surgery. He is acting as if this is a DaVinci Robotic Prostectomy. Get Get some of those Clevelander models to hold both of his hands and fingers while he is getting the surgery and get this done.

Stanton will look good playing RF for the Tigers. cabrera will be 35 and a DH. Castellanos will be at 3B, Jackson in CF and a pretty good team. marlins will need a lefty reliever and a couple of prospects back to make it happen.

Stan III

WOW, what a GREAT GAME by the Marlins. It was exciting to see them take the LEAD and KEEP the LEAD the whole GAME! A SHUTOUT! Despite the troubles this season, I STILL find myself a FAN of this TEAM. - Said ALEX, never....

Glags

If it ain't broke don't fix it. Bell in the 8th and Cishek in the 9th has worked and they both look very comfortable in their current roles. This guy!!!

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