Heath Bell is hurting the Arizona Diamondbacks.
So is the opinion of ESPN MLB analyst Keith Law, who said when asked what he thinks of the D-backs that he would have a different answer if they had a different pitcher trying to lock down late leads.
"They've had a lot of things go really well for them, including the Dodgers kind of imploding," Law told Arizona Sports 620's Doug and Wolf, noting Los Angeles has not run its club very well and thus created a chance for Arizona to run away with the NL West. "It feels like every time they're about to do that, Heath Bell just kind of pulls them back down to the pack."
Bell, in his first year with the team after being acquired in the offseason from the Miami Marlins, has converted 13 saves on the year but is carrying a 5.02 ERA. He's allowed a home run in each of his last five appearances, and failed to record an out before surrendering two runs in a blown save over the weekend against the Cincinnati Reds.
Though the D-backs have not had a save opportunity since that night, skipper Kirk Gibson said Bell is still the team's closer.
Granted, that could could change when J.J. Putz (elbow) returns, but for now it appears little will be changing with regards to the 'pen. But other than finding consistency with their relievers, Law believes the Diamondbacks, who lead the division with a 41-34 record, really don't need to do much more to compete for a postseason spot.
"I don't think they need to make a ton of changes to the rest of the roster going forward," he said, adding the team has starting pitching depth and is set to get some key injured players back in the near future. "How much would they really need to do between now and the trade deadline, maybe acquire another relief piece or two?"
Law said unless a "bona-fide" ace becomes available, there really isn't much for the team to do roster-wise. Because while the D-backs currently lack that, they're probably better off just rolling with what they have.
"At least get yourself into the postseason, and you never know, you might face another club that's in the same situation where they don't have a true ace, either."