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Sunday, June 24, 2018

Heath Bell says Marlins trainer thinks he’s working too hard

Heath Bell was supposed to be one of the free agent additions to improve the Marlins, but the All-Star closer has struggled with his new team.

Bell is 0-3 with a 9.53 ERA through three weeks of the season. He has blown three of his five save chances and allowed eight runs over 5.2 innings. You might think the pressure of being a big-money player — he signed a three-year $27 million deal over the offseason — is the reason for his struggles, but the team’s trainer has another theory.

“Apparently our trainer says I work too hard,” Bell explained after blowing a save on Thursday night. “I’m busting my [butt] on the treadmill, the bike and working out. Maybe I need to start listening to him and stop working so hard. I do everything you should do, do everything I’ve been doing for the last five, six, seven years.”

If that was an excuse, Ozzie Guillen wasn’t hearing it.

“I don’t think the trainer (threw) 10 balls in a row. I’ll just be honest. I don’t like to talk about my players. Maybe he said that because he has his own reasons. I don’t know why.

“Is that going to be his excuse? I hope not. What does a trainer have to do with how you perform? Maybe he can disagree if Randy St. Claire said something about pitching. But a trainer? I don’t know if that’s a good excuse or that’s the truth. If that’s the truth, we have to find out.”

We’ve heard about over-training as a reason for fighters struggling, but could that be the reason Bell is struggling? The guy’s been a top reliever the past three seasons. You figure he’d have his routine down by now. If he’s changed it, he should go back to what was working. And if he hasn’t changed his routine, well, then he has a much bigger problem on his hands.

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