Is there no relief? MLB's worst bankroll-busting bullpens
The Miami Marlins reached deep into their wallets this past winter, pulling out over $12 million to bolster their bullpen with nine of those milli going to closer Heath Bell, who signed a three-year $27 million deal with the Fish this offseason.
For Miami’s sake, let’s hope the Marlins left the tags on Bell or at least hung on to the receipt.
After being demoted from the closer’s role early into the season, he’s recently returned to ninth-inning duties with mixed results. Bell picked up 14 saves in his last 25 appearances and was without a blown save until Tuesday’s implosion versus the Milwaukee Brewers.
He served up a two-run, walk-off homer to Aramis Ramirez in the bottom of the 12th inning, handing Marlins backers a crushing 13-12 loss as +113 road underdogs after coming back from a 9-2 hole in the seventh. It was Bell’s fifth blown save of 2012 and Miami’s 12th of the year.
"We make errors and we pick each other up," Bell told the media. "I just unfortunately made an error that can’t be picked up. It really stinks."
Tell that to Miami backers who have been burned for -3.64 units due to Bell's gaffes. However, thanks to some last-minute heroics from the lineup, Miami’s 12 blown saves have only cost South Beach bettors 0.58 units.
The Colorado Rockies lead baseball with 16 blown saves. And if you’re still betting on Colorado at this point, the thin Rocky Mountain air is starving your brain of much-needed oxygen.
Here are three other bullpens breaking MLB bettors’ hearts – and bankrolls - in the ninth inning:
Milwaukee Brewers (13 blown saves – 55 save percentage)
Much like Bell, the Brewers’ highly-touted new closer Francisco Rodriguez hasn’t lived up to his billing. But, unlike Bell, Milwaukee has amazingly been able to bail out K-Rod on all four of his blown saves. John Axford, on the other hand, hasn’t been so lucky. Three of his four blown saves have resulted in losses for the Brew Crew, costing bettors -2.08 units.
Toronto Blue Jays (11 blown saves – 56 save percentage)
Same song, different band. The Blue Jays brass went on a bullpen spending spree this offseason, adding relief arms to avoid suffering through another summer of blown save after blown save. Toronto, which tied for the most BS in the America League with 25 in 2011, is at it again in 2012. An injury to closer Sergio Santos (who didn’t look all that great before getting hurt) has forced the Jays to lean on guys like Francisco Cordero (four blown saves) and Jason Frasor (three blown saves) in the ninth.
St. Louis Cardinals (13 blown saves - 57 save percentage)
The Cardinals are a weirdo team when it comes to their bullpen. St. Louis finished second in blown saves with 26 last year, then wasted only one in the postseason en route to a World Series title. Through the first three months of the 2012 calendar, the Cards are back to their old tricks with fingers pointing at Marc Rzepczynski and Jason Motte, who have combined for nine blown saves and -5.47 units – nearly 75 percent of St. Louis’ total units lost this season.