New Diamondback Heath Bell ready for any role team gives him

Nov 9, 2012, 10:27 PM | Updated: 11:04 pm

New Arizona Diamondbacks reliever Heath Bell is coming off one of the worst seasons of his professional career.

Bell, 35, signed a big contract with the Miami Marlins as a free agent in the offseason, with the team expecting him to fill the role of closer.

The veteran struggled mightily out of gate, posting an 0-3 record with two saves and an ERA of 10.80 in April, and a 2-5 mark with a 6.75 ERA before the All-Star break.

He was yanked from the closer role after recording just 19 saves.

The second half of the veteran’s season was much better — it could not have been much worse — as he went 2-0 with a 3.10 ERA in 29 innings of work.

That’s the pitcher the D-backs believe they acquired, and it’s the guy Bell thinks he’s ready to be for his new team.

“I just think every great player has a down year, and it’s really how you react the next year,” Bell told a media gathering Friday at the D-backs Golf Classic. “I’m trying to get in the best shape possible and just trying to work real hard and cross the t’s and dot the i’s.”

Bell established himself as one of the game’s premier closers with the San Diego Padres. D-backs GM Kevin Towers was running the team then, and Bell credits him for giving him a chance to show his stuff.

That stuff, Bell said, was not lacking last season and should not be an issue going forward.

“There was just other stuff that happened that I really don’t want to talk about,” Bell said. “I just want to talk about my future with the Diamondbacks and this upcoming 2013 season.”

Bell was part of an underachieving Marlins team that spent wildly in free agency only to finish last in the NL East with a 69-93 record. Outspoken and controversial manager Ozzie Guillen was fired after just one season with the team.

Away from that mess, Bell, who comes to the Diamondbacks with a career ERA of 3.30 and 153 saves, says he’ll be happy to fill whatever role his team needs him to.

“Whatever they tell me to do, that’s what I’m going to go out and do,” the three-time All-Star said, noting that J.J. Putz is the team’s incumbent closer and he may be needed earlier than the ninth inning most nights. He’s fine with that.

“My role is to when the phone rings and my name is on the end to go out and get as many guys out until they pull me out of the game.”

Penguin Air

Comments

Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona Diamondbacks

Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Chris Devenski works against the Colorado Rockies in the sixth ...
Associated Press

Arizona Diamondbacks drop series opener in Colorado to Rockies

The Arizona Diamondbacks only managed five hits in a loss on the road against the Colorado Rockies.
1 day ago
Arizona Diamondbacks' Sergio Alcantara (43) and Geraldo Perdomo, middle, celebrate after scoring ag...
Kellan Olson

Diamondbacks rally to beat Pirates, make up for odd defensive blunder

The Arizona Diamondbacks' seven runs in the seventh inning picked up starter Merrill Kelly after he was positioned for an undeserved loss.
2 days ago
Chicago White Sox pitcher Lance Lynn warms up in the outfield before a baseball game against the Ne...
Associated Press

‘Field of Dreams’ game Thursday sees Cubs, Reds clash

“Field of Dreams” gets another tribute when the Cincinnati Reds take on the Chicago Cubs in a throwback ballpark in the cornfields of Iowa.
3 days ago
Arizona Diamondbacks right fielder Daulton Varsho leaps in vain for a triple hit by Pittsburgh Pira...
Kellan Olson

Bizarre double play, replay review costs Diamondbacks in loss to Pirates

The D-backs loaded the bases with nobody out down 6-3 in the ninth inning against the Pirates before one of the strangest plays of the year.
2 days ago
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) is tackled by Philadelphia Eagles safety Marc...
Arizona Sports

Larry Fitzgerald, Pedro Gomez in 2022 Arizona Sports Hall of Fame class

Arizona Cardinals legend Larry Fitzgerald and late journalist Pedro Gomez are among the 2022 class entering the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame.
3 days ago
Tommy Henry #47 of the Arizona Diamondbacks delivers a first inning pitch against the Pittsburgh Pi...
Kellan Olson

D-backs starting pitching stays hot, Henry’s first W takes down Pirates

Diamondbacks rookie Tommy Henry continued the strong run of form from the team's starting pitching lately in a win over the Pirates.
4 days ago
New Diamondback Heath Bell ready for any role team gives him