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Steve Blass disease?

Although Steve Blass was a pretty good pitcher he is usually remembered for the "disease" named after him. After eight successful years with the Pirates Blass suddenly lost his control in 1973. He wasn't hurt, he tried all kinds of treatments, both mental and phsyical, but nothing ever worked. His career was over, ended by the complete inability to throw strikes with any consistency. This came up again recently with Rick Ankiel of the Cardinals, who was hit especially bad by it and is now trying to make it as an outfielder because he couldn't take dealing with the issues he had with pitching any more.

I think this may be what has happened to Rob Bell. He obviously doesn't have it to the degree that Ankiel did and not as bad as Blass either but his control has completely tanked. It started to show in his start before the one that got him pulled from the rotation, he drilled several balls into the dirt well in front of the plate. I didn't think much of it at the time but then he was completely bombed in New York, unable to fool hitters in the least. Since he moved to the bullpen he has been very poor, throwing more balls into the dirt well before the plate and even some way over everyone's heads.

I didn't really look at it as anything but struggles until tonight when he came in. Bell's first pitch missed everybody then his second was a flat fastball that floated in for a strike, probably would have been crushed if the hitter wasn't off balance from that first pitch. His next three pitches were awful, nowhere close to being over the plate.

It sounds weird to hope that someone is hurt but that would be the best case scenario for Bell right now. If there's something physically wrong then he can rest and get it fixed. If he's healthy then there just isn't any explanation for what has happened to him. We can only hope for the best but there's a real possibility that he won't recover if his problem is what I think it is.