MLB: J J Putz Returns to the Diamondbacks
After throwing his third straight scoreless game at Triple A Reno, Diamondback fans will be happy to see closer J.J. Putz back on the mound. Look for Putz to be with the team for their series against the Braves this weekend.
Putz hurt his collateral ligament in his right elbow on May 8th and will be eager to be back with his team. Putz dodged a “bullet” with just a strain and was able to shut it down for a couple weeks while it healed and then build his arm strength back up again.
The Diamondbacks have not made an announcement regarding his role, but it is certain that Putz will take over the closer’s position again, given Heath Bell’s struggles. Bell has served up home runs in five consecutive appearances, yet will remain the closer until the Diamondbacks coaches see how Putz’s body reacts to possible back-to-back games, throwing several pitches, and facing MLB hitters.
Putz has struggled this year as well. He has 4 blown saves and has a 4.26 ERA; he has also allowed 3 homeruns.
What the Diamondback fans, as well as the coaches, are hoping for from Putz when he is back, is similar to the last two years as the Diamondbacks closer. In those two years he has saved 77 games with 112.1 innings pitched and an ERA under 2.50 with 126 strikeouts.
And most of all what is really needed to hold on to 1st place in the NL West, is for the Diamondback hitters to give their starting pitching, timely hits/runs and the lead. Then the starting rotation needs to pitch into or past the 6th inning, so their set up guys can succeed. After that, let Putz come into the ninth and close the door and get the save on minimal pitches.
I hope to see you at the ballpark.
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