After having to leave the field in the middle of the 9th inning during Tuesday night’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers from suffering strained elbow, the team announced Wednesday that he has been placed on the 15-day disabled list. According to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com, Putz has been flown back to Phoenix for a diagnosis.
“We’re going to go see the doctor (Wednesday) and go figure out what it is,” Putz said to Steve Gilbert after last nights game. “I didn’t know what it was, and then after it happened two more times, I thought I probably should say something. The hardest thing is just not knowing what it is. I’ve never felt anything like it before.”
It has been a rocky start of the 2013 season for the 36 year-old. He has had 14 appearances with the team and sports a 4.26 ERA including five saves.
It is unclear who will now step in as the closer. The first thought would be David Hernandez as he took Putz’s place last season when he spent time on the DL and he remains the set-up man in the 8th inning despite struggles he’s had of his own in 2013. But if Kirk Gibson wants to keep Hernandez in that set-up role to continue to get his confidence back, Heath Bell is another option as he brings a lot of closing experience and has pitched well of late after getting off to a slow start.
The dark horse to take Putz’s place would be Matt Reynolds as he by far has had the best start to 2013 of any member of the Diamondbacks bullpen. He has not been scored upon yet this season and has only allowed seven hits and one walk in 16.1 innings pitched.
In the process of placing Putz on the DL, the Diamondbacks have called up right-handed reliever Will Harris from Reno. Harris has two saves so far thus season in AAA and sports a 4.63 ERA in 11.2 innings pitched. Harris was claimed off waivers by the Diamondbacks back on April 6th and has has appeared in 20 major league games in his eight-year career. All of 20 of the games were with the Colorado Rockies.