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


Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Greg Jennings: Ryan Tannehill has had his hands tied by coaches

Josh McDaniels 'happy' with Pats but wants to be a head coach again

WATCH: Jim Harbaugh in cleats throws out first pitch at Cubs game

Why Rickie Fowler will win the PGA Championship

Warren Sapp bitten on arm by shark


Fitzpatrick, Jets agree to one-year deal

Baker considering removing Papelbon from closer role?

Greg Hardy struggling to find work, reportedly even in CFL

Jets players told not to discuss Ryan Fitzpatrick situation

Brock Lesnar won't be punished by WWE for UFC drug test

Report: Cowboys to be fined up to $250K for suspended players

Report: Ravens WR Mike Wallace failed conditioning test

WATCH: Kobe Bryant drives Ferrari around Italian racetrack

Terrelle Pryor shouts out Ohio State after ban ends

Justin Timberlake advocates for Memphis to join Big 12

Poll: Las Vegas residents don’t support public funds for NFL stadium

Conor McGregor talks trash to Nate Diaz on ‘Conan’

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Real Madrid can’t train at Norwegian school because of the kids

Newspaper uses Michael Jordan ‘crying face’ as image

Equipment manager Blake Griffin punched no longer works for Clippers

Report: Nicks signing one-year deal with Saints

Reds 'picking up the pace' on Jay Bruce trade talks

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.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker