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D-backs aim to get Putz on track -- as closer

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D-backs aim to get Putz on track -- as closer play video for D-backs aim to get Putz on track -- as closer

SAN DIEGO -- J.J. Putz will remain the D-backs' closer, but his workload will be more closely monitored.

"We need J.J. to get on track," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said.

According to the records Gibson keeps, Putz worked eight out of 11 days counting the times he warmed up to come into a game but did not wind up being summoned.

Toward the end of that stretch, there was a noticeable drop in Putz's velocity.

"What does that tell you?" Gibson said. "I probably pushed him a little hard there."

Putz has blown four saves so far this year after blowing five all of last year and four in 2011.

"J.J. is my closer," Gibson said. "I'm going to make sure that I monitor him and give him a chance to build back up and get into the season. He's 36 years old. That's just the way he is. I want to give him a better chance to be successful. I don't want to push him as hard as I did."

On days Putz is not available, Gibson said he might use David Hernandez or Heath Bell to close out games.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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