As far as a debut with a new team can go, Heath Bell’s with the Diamondbacks was pretty terrible.
One-third of an inning pitched, four hits, three earned runs, one walk, one strikeout.
Bell, who was acquired in the offseason, left the game with an ERA of 81.00.
However, it’s only one outing, and D-backs GM Kevin Towers is not concerned that the high-priced reliever’s struggles in Miami have followed him to Arizona.
“I’m sure if you asked Heath, or any of us, I’m sure that wasn’t how he wanted to make his debut with the D-backs,” Towers told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf Wednesday. “But he’s a veteran; there’s no way that a guy could be as successful as he has in his major league career, and after one year all of a sudden lose it.
“I think he will regain his old form. He just needs to put that one behind him.”
Bell, 35, struggled in his lone year with the Marlins, posting an ERA of 5.09 while saving just 19 games. He was brought in on a big contract to be the closer, but after posting three straight seasons with more than 40 saves, appeared to have lost his stuff.
But Towers, clearly, is not of that belief. In fact, he believes someone with Bell’s track record can move on from such a rough outing easier than someone without that history of success.
“I think it’s what makes those guys great, that they are able to turn the page,” Towers said, noting Bell’s former status as a closer and likening him to former Padres stopper Trevor Hoffman. “He’s able to, as tough as it is, to try to get that out of your brain and move on to the next day and look forward to the next time you get a chance to redeem yourself.”
No doubt that time will come for Bell, as one bad outing does not a season ruin. And Towers — along with everyone else in Sedona Red — is no doubt hoping to see significantly better results.