Marlins likely headed to closer by committee

MIAMI — Before leaving St. Louis on Sunday, Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen stated he would weigh his closer options for after the All-Star Break.

Apparently, the manager has reached a decision.

The Marlins appear headed for a closer by committee situation.

On his weekly radio segment on “The Dan LeBatard Show” on 790 The Ticket, Guillen said he plans to talk with Heath Bell in the next few days, and that the team will start off closing by committee.

The news isn’t unexpected, because Guillen hinted he on Sunday that he would make a drastic move, if necessary. In the series finale with the Cardinals, Bell allowed three runs in the ninth inning, and St. Louis rallied to a 5-4 win.

“I have to make a decision, and if I have to make a solution that will be drastic, I will do it,” Guillen said after Sunday’s game. “We’re going to wait until after the All-Star break, and I’m going to pick whoever is better out there to close the game. That’s the bottom line. If you can’t do the job, we’ll find somebody else to do the job.”

Bell is 2-5 with a 6.75 ERA in 40 appearances. He’s converted 19 of 25 save opportunites.

In 34 2/3 innings, he has 32 strikeouts and 20 walks.

Steve Cishek is the likely first choice to close. But the team also will mix and match. Lefty-specialist Randy Choate could the nod against left-handed hitters.

Edward Mujica is expected off the disabled list (broken right pinky toe) on Sunday, and he could be in the mix.

Juan Carlos Oviedo will be another option when his suspension ends on July 23. Oviedo is dealing with issues relating to his identity. Formerly Leo Nunez, Oviedo is currently pitching in Class A Jupiter. He is likely to get a few innings in at Double-A before rejoining the Marlins.

Joe Frisaro


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