Some managers like to take the proactive approach when it comes to struggling closer and sit them down to sort out their troubles, like Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell did recently with Andrew Bailey.
Bell has had a rough stretch giving up a home run for the fifth straight outing on Saturday and after working his ERA down to 3.28, it is back up to 5.02. His latest meltdown occurred against the Cincinnati Reds when he gave up a two run homer to Jay Bruce and the ninth-inning. Things might be different if that weren’t his first blown save opportunity since May 12.
Bell had converted nine straight save opportunities before that, but the writing was on the wall, having given up a combined seven runs in four innings over his last five appearances.
J.J. Putz is scheduled for a rehab appearance at Triple-A Reno this week and Bell may be just keeping the seat warm until he returns. Stay tuned closer situations seem to take on a life of their own. Affirmation one day can quickly turn to condemnation.