Heath Bell’s transition back into the closer role, with J.J. Putz on the shelf with an elbow injury, wasn’t the challenge. That job was old hat. The tough part was cleaning up his mechanics after allowing 10 hits and four runs in his first five appearances this season. “I knew something was wrong, and I had no idea what it was,” he said. “(The coaches) have helped me get my mechanics where they need to be. It’s not really hard going back into the closer role because I’ve done that the last four years. But I just wanted to get mechanically back and start executing my pitches like I know I can.” Bell has certainly done that since his responsibility changed, going 3-for-3 in save opportunities Tuesday through Thursday. The Diamondbacks hope Bell can continue to be effective with Putz shut down for at least the next two weeks. “He had a couple rocky outings, but in general we’re trying to get him in a stable environment, get to know each other, give him a better opportunity to succeed,” manager Kirk Gibson said. “We kind of brought him along slow, and all of a sudden here we need him.” Once Putz returns, Bell will revert to his former role as bullpen rover — and that’s perfectly fine with him. “I’ll be that guy what I was doing beforehand, help David (Hernandez) out if he needs a day or if J.J. needs a day and just try to help the team win any way possible,” Bell said.
With mechanics fixed, Heath Bell closing again for Arizona Diamondbacks
Arizona Republic | May 11