The face of struggling Miami Marlins closer Heath Bell is no longer the only one you will see in the ninth inning: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE
It seems the Miami Marlins will turn to a closer by committee approach starting directly after the All-Star break on Friday. This of course comes with the conclusion that struggling closer Heath Bell will be demoted from his full-time closer's role. This was reported by Ozzie Guillen during his weekly radio segment on the Dan Le Batard show. Here's MLB.com's Joe Frisaro on the potential options:
The truth is that that's actually not a bad idea in general, provided relievers can stay comfortable and pitch effectively without defined roles. Unfortunately, it does seem as though relievers actually express difficulty getting into rhythm without defined innings and roles, not unlikely due to the fact that the current bullpen usage system encourages consistent use based on innings.
Nevertheless, the Marlins are making the right decision to at least moving Bell off of a permanent closer's role. It seems he will probably get some outings in the ninth inning, but not before guys like Steve Cishek get a look. Keep in mind that the team has at least one dedicated lefty ace or LOOGY in Randy Choate, which would also allow the team to mix and match relief options to match the platoon situation.
We will have more on this and why this may be a positive move for the Marlins.