Marlins skipper has confidence in Bell

Marlins skipper has confidence in Bell

Marlins skipper has confidence in Bell
SAN FRANCISCO -- Even calls from home are asking Heath Bell the same questions.

"My daughter called me up, and asked me, 'Does your arm hurt? What's wrong? You're usually really good,'" said the Marlins' closer, rehashing a conversation with his 13-year-old daughter, Jasmyne.

During this road trip, Bell will get to see his wife and children when the team travels to San Diego on Thursday night.

The veteran closer's family continues to make San Diego home, and they will see him more once school ends.

Bell is going through a rough stretch.

Before earning the save in Tuesday's 2-1 victory with a perfect ninth inning, the right-hander had blown three of his five save chances. And in Monday's 9-5 loss to the D-backs at Marlins Park, Bell entered in the ninth inning with Miami already down by two runs. The margin became four runs after the right-hander gave up two more.

Manager Ozzie Guillen continues to give Bell votes of support, maintaining the All-Star is not in danger of losing his closer role. At least, not right now.

"I think he threw the ball a little bit better yesterday, even though the result is not what we like," Guillen said Tuesday. "He has to make an adjustment. He's our closer. We are a better ballclub when Heath Bell is in the closer spot.

"If this kid continues to struggle, then we have to do something different. Something I don't want to do, but on the other hand, something I'd have to do. This team is desperate for wins. Not just to put in the winning column, but for the team."

Bell is using the poor April as a learning experience.

"My son who plays ball, he's 8," Bell said. "He gets really ticked off if he doesn't get a hit or something like that. I think this is a perfect way to teach him, 'Hey, it's OK. Even though you've had great years, you can struggle. You have to keep fighting.'"