Bell temporarily removed from closer role
Cishek front-runner to finish games, but unavailable until Tuesday
SAN DIEGO -- Closing time will have a different ring to it for the Marlins the next few days.
Until Heath Bell gets back on track, the closer role will be going to other options.
Manager Ozzie Guillen informed Bell on Saturday that he would use him earlier than in save opportunities. The move was expected after Friday night, when Bell endured his fourth blown save in seven chances this season.
Bell surrendered the tying run in the ninth inning at San Diego. The Marlins prevailed, 9-8, in 12 innings, with Steve Cishek working three innings.
Most likely, Bell will be used in the sixth or seventh inning in the short term.
"We're going to move him down for a few days to get him back on track," Guillen said Saturday afternoon. "It's not like we're removing him from his job. I made it clear to him that if we're going to be the club we should be, it's easier for him to be where he's supposed to be."
Circumstances will determine which inning Bell is used.
"Whatever inning we think will be the best for him," Guillen said.
With the Padres from 2009-11, Bell recorded 132 saves, the most in the Major Leagues. Last year, he converted 43 of 48 chances. Already, he has blown four of seven opportunities.
"I talked to Bell. We had a great conversation," Guillen said. "He understands my point. We are a better pitching club with him to be the closer. Right now, he's going through a rough time. It's a combination of making bad pitches to not catching any breaks. That's going to happen. It happens to the best."
Bell's velocity has been between 92-94 mph. It's not so much a dramatic drop in how hard he's throwing, his command has been off.
Steve Cishek is the frontrunner to pick up the closer role, but the right-hander threw three innings on Friday. He won't be available at least until Tuesday at Houston. Cishek has thrown five innings in three days.
On Saturday, Guillen was leaning toward using Ryan Webb or Randy Choate in the role.
Guillen added that the hope is Bell will gain some confidence and success in the earlier innings, and he will then go back to pitching the ninth.
Demoting an All-Star player, Guillen said, is one of the hardest moves for a manager.
"I made it very clear," Guillen said. "This is not a punishment thing, this is about helping [Bell] and the ballclub."
Cishek has the makings of being a closer for the long term. He will get his chances once he is ready to pitch again.
"This kid can be a closer very soon," Guillen said of the 25-year-old. "We have one for a couple of years. He's got enough stuff to be a closer."
Hatcher, Rosario promoted from Triple-A
SAN DIEGO -- Around 2:30 a.m. PT, Chris Hatcher and Sandy Rosario were informed that they were being called up to the big leagues. By 11 a.m. on Saturday, the two were arriving in San Diego, offering much needed relief help to a taxed Marlins bullpen.
The Marlins recalled Hatcher and Rosario from Triple-A New Orleans, and they optioned outfielder Bryan Petersen and lefty reliever Dan Jennings to Triple-A.
The hastily pieced together roster moves came after the Marlins bullpen was tapped out in a 12-inning win over the Padres on Friday night at Petco Park.
Adding two relievers gives the Marlins 13 pitchers and 12 position players.
Manager Ozzie Guillen says the balance may stay that way for a while, especially since the bullpen has been overused.
"I like pitchers," Guillen said. "Give me some pitchers, it makes things easier. When one guy goes down, the bullpen can be hurt for a long time."
On Friday night, the bullpen had to pick this up after Josh Johnson exited after 2 2/3 innings.
If a pinch-hit option is needed, Carlos Zambrano is a switch-hitter and a quality hitter, for a pitcher.
Hatcher and Rosario were with New Orleans in Iowa at the time they were told to pack up and get to San Diego.
Hatcher posted a 1.20 ERA in 15 innings for the Zephyrs, while Rosario has a 2.13 ERA in 12 2/3 innings.
"They showed they can pitch," Guillen said. "We'll see how long we'll take with them. We might keep them. Because the way we're playing, we're going to need pitching."
Reyes provokes another pitcher into a balk
SAN DIEGO -- Jose Reyes can make things happen so many different ways. He can change a game with his bat, glove and speed.
You can add a bluff to the list of how the Marlins' shortstop influences the outcome.
Reyes instigated the game-tying run in the fourth inning on Friday night by getting Padres pitcher Anthony Bass to flinch and balk.
Reyes doubled and moved to third with the Marlins down by a run. Seeing Bass pitching out of the windup, Reyes bluffed toward home. The antics created the balk, which sent Reyes home with the tying run.
"He can make a lot of things happen," manager Ozzie Guillen said.
During his years Reyes provoked opposing pitchers into several balks. A notable game was against the Giants at Shea Stadium in 2007.
Armando Benitez ended up committing two balks with Reyes on base in the 12th inning.
"I did that against Armando Benitez," Reyes said. "I was on third base, and he did a balk. Balked and we tied the game there."
Reyes was walked by Benitez and he advanced to second on a balk. He was sacrificed to third and scored on Benitez's second balk of the inning.
On Friday, Reyes saw Bass wasn't paying attention to him.
"The pitcher, he was in the wind up to home plate," Reyes said. "I tried to make something happen, and he made a balk."