Bell likely to get shot at closing

NEW YORK — Heath Bell, who had a rough first half, basically has earned another shot at closing.

Manager Ozzie Guillen is leaning towards going with Bell the next time there is a save situation. Guillen still holds the right to change his mind, based on circumstances, but look for Bell to be given a chance to lock down the final outs.

In his last 10 appearances, Bell has given up three hits in nine scoreless innings.

Steve Cishek collected his seventh save on Tuesday night when he worked a perfect ninth inning at the Mets.

All season, Guillen has said the Marlins are a better team with Bell closing. But when the veteran labored, saving 19 of 25 opportunities, Cishek was used as the closer for most of the second half.

In other pregame news on Wednesday, Jose Reyes was back in the starting lineup for the second of three games against the Mets.

Reyes is riding a 25-game hitting streak, the longest of his career and the tops this season in the Majors. But Reyes has been dealing with a sore right hand, basically discomfort between his thumb and index finger.

Reyes spoke to Guillen before Wednesday’s game.

“I told Ozzie today that I’ve missed so many games in my career with injuries,” Reyes said. “I want to play. Now, I feel so good at the plate, I don’t want to come out.”

With the Marlins playing a 12:10 p.m. ET game on Thursday at New York, Guillen might give Giancarlo Stanton the day off. Stanton was reinstated off the DL on Tuesday, and he is making two straight starts. The team is monitoring the 22-year-old slugger, who had surgery on his right knee on July 8.

Joe Frisaro

 

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