Arizona Diamondbacks closer J.J. Putz was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right elbow strain. The 10-year veteran is expected to miss quite a bit of time with the injury, something that does not sit well with the rest of the team.
Putz left Tuesday night’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers after he felt some discomfort in his elbow. It was obvious something was wrong when Putz walked Dodgers third baseman Nick Punto on four straight pitches to lead off the ninth inning. Not to mention, the fact that he continue to clinch is right hand afterwards.
Thankfully, setup man Heath Bell was able to come into the game and record his second save of the season to secure the 5-3 victory.
“I think we’re going to miss J.J.,” Bell said, according to Diamondbacks.com. “He’s kind of our captain down there, our leader.”
Bell will be the first player to get a shot at the closer role while Putz remains on the disabled list. The former San Diego Padres and Miami Marlins closer has plenty of experience in the position, which certainly has to be comforting for Arizona. The 35-year-old has recorded 151 saves in 173 opportunities from 2009-12, including a career-high 47 saves in 2010 for San Diego.
The Diamondbacks called up Will Harris from Triple-A to take Putz’s spot on the active roster. The 28-year-old appeared in 20 games last year with the Colorado Rockies in which he posted a 1-1 record with an 8.15 earned run average, 19 strikeouts and three holds. In Triple-A this season, Harris has a 4.63 ERA in 12 outings.
Even though Putz has struggled for the most part this season, the Diamondbacks will still miss his presence in the bullpen and the clubhouse. The 36-year-old is 2-1 with a 4.26 ERA, 17 strikeouts and five saves in nine opportunities this season.