Originally posted on Bloguin Best  |  Last updated 5/6/12

The Miami Marlins, who signed closer Heath Bell to a three year, $27 million deal this offseason, have removed Bell from the closer's role due to repeated struggles. Bell has already blown four saves this season. Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen is thinking that he'll replace Bell at the back of the game with Steve Cishek.

The struggles from the 34 year-old Bell this year are pretty much the antithesis of why you don't give relievers large contracts. Bell has been an absolute disaster in South Beach this season, only saving three games (while blowing four) in seven chances. Bell has thrown 8 2/3 innings on the season, has walked ten, and struck out just six. While he's not as bad as his 11.42 ERA indiciates, his 6.88 FIP and 7.74 xFIP don't tell the tale of a pitcher who is just getting screwed over by awful luck.

While Bell's velocity is down so far this year, it's not alarmingly down (shy of one mile per hour). Bell's main problem appears to be location, as he's only getting swings on 18.4% of pitches he's thrown outside of the strike zone, in comparison to 30.7% last year and 29.4% over his career. Another thing that's plaguing Bell is what's happening when hitters make contact. He's allowing a near career low 14.7% line drive rate, but 44.1% flyball rate is more than 10% higher than his career rate. More flyballs = more balls going into the gap and over the fence. The career low 41.2% groundball rate also indicates that there are issues with Bell's command.

As for Cishek, he's an impressive looking young pitcher. Over his brief major league career, he's struck out 73 batters in 73 1/3 innings. This season, he's struck out 15 in 14 1/3. Walks aren't a huge problem for him, as he's walked 26 over his career and six this year. Cishek has also allowed just one home run in his career (coming last season), and is a ground ball machine, with a career rate of 55.8% and a 54.8% mark this year. He doesn't throw as hard as Bell, with a fastball clocking in at just 91.7 mph this year.

While Guillen says the move from Bell to Cishek is probably just temporary while Bell gets comfortable, I think it could benefit the Marlins long-term to keep Cishek in the role, because I think he's got some really good potential. On the other hand, Cishek isn't getting paid $27 million over three seasons. The Marlins will stubbornly keep going to Bell in the closer's role long-tern, even if he isn't the best choice for the role. We've seen it happen time and time again (think the Reds with Francisco Cordero over the last four yeasr), and there is going to be no exception this time around in Miami.

Photo courtesy of Daylife.com

[follow]

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

NHL rumors: Capitals acquire Blues’ Kevin Shattenkirk in bold trade

Report: Chiefs making ‘strong push’ to make Eric Berry highest-paid safety in NFL

Dana White hints at Conor McGregor's next opponent

Report: Steelers make Brown NFL's highest-paid WR

Report: Chiefs sign Duvernay-Tardif to five-year extension

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

MLB considering introducing 'stickier' baseballs

Report: Browns have discussed trading No. 12 pick for Garoppolo

Report: Lowry expected to miss 4-5 weeks, return for playoffs

Report: Cowboys to release Romo in coming weeks

Report: Jennings expected to sign with Hornets

Did Hield reveal Kings tampered with him before trade?

It's time for Satchel Paige Day in Major League Baseball

The best sports movies available to stream right now

Biggest surprises and disappointments of the NBA season

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

It's time for Satchel Paige Day in MLB

The best sports movies available to stream right now

Biggest surprises and disappointments of the NBA season

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win 20 or more games in a season since 2000

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker