Thursday, January 08, 2009

Transplanted ex-Mets Update: Heath Bell is the new closer for the Padres

With San Diego icon Trevor Hoffman signing with the Milwaukee Brewers, the job of closer has been officially handed to ex-Mets mop-up man Heath Bell. by manager Bud Black. Bud gave Bell a "huge vote of confidence":

"The message that Heath has to understand is that nobody replaces a guy like Trevor Hoffman," Black said. "Nobody replaces that caliber of player. He has to be Heath Bell. He has to be what he is capable of doing as a major league pitcher. From what we have seen the last couple of years, we have to hope that translates into a guy who gets major league saves."

Bell's teammate Chris Young echoed the endorsement that Bell will be great as a closer.

"As much as we'll miss Trevor, hopefully we'll find a way to win games and find somebody who can get three outs to end the game, and we'll be all right. Trevor's value to the franchise has been a lot greater than that, but hopefully Heath will be up to the challenge."

Boy, that sounds like about as much confidence as the Mets had in Bell when they traded him to San Diego for Jon Adkins and Ben Johnson in 2006.

Bell was mostly effective as a reliver for the Mets from 2004 to 2006, with a 4.92 ERA but 105 Ks in 108 innings, but he never really got a shot. He mostly served as an injury replacement on the big league roster, racking up a lot of frequent flier miles between New York and Tidewater. Good luck Heath

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