Heath Bell welcomes chance to be a closer again

May 11, 2013, 12:09 AM | Updated: 9:12 pm
LISTEN: Heath Bell, D-backs pitcher

Heath Bell did not get the save opportunity in Friday’s 3-2 win over the Phillies.

The team’s closer due to injury, Bell had recorded saves in each of the previous three games while throwing 36 pitches in the process.

But rest assured, Bell will be back on the mound looking to nail down a win shortly, and it’s a role he’s happy to be filling again.

“Coming into this year, I really just wanted to get my mechanics right and start pitching and show everybody I’m completely fine,” Bell told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf Friday.

Bell arrived in Arizona via a trade, and is looking to bounce back from a season that saw him blow eight saves in 27 chances while compiling an ERA of 5.09 in Miami. One of the game’s elite closers for three consecutive seasons, it appeared the 35-year-old may have been done as an effective pitcher.

A rough start to his D-backs tenure seemed to reaffirm that belief, but Bell has turned things around. He has not allowed a run in any of his last four appearances, and has held the opposition scoreless 11 of the last 13 times he’s taken the mound. And now, by way of J.J. Putz’s injury, Bell finds himself back in the role he said he’s “very comfortable doing.”

“I know when J.J. is healthy in a few weeks when he comes back and he’s going to start closing games,” Bell said. “Then I’ll help him out when he needs a day off and I’ll help (David Hernandez) out when he needs a day off, just like I was doing beforehand.”

In the meantime, though, Bell welcomes the high-pressure situations he’s likely to find himself in.

“I kind of love that, I love that emotion,” he said. “A lot of people like being happy and some people, for some odd reason, like being sad and depressed.

“And I like that fear of going up there and you might fail and everybody might boo you, but you get cheered but then again we talk about other people and not you.”


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