{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Putz throws pain-free bullpen session

Putz throws pain-free bullpen session

|
Putz throws pain-free bullpen session

PHOENIX -- D-backs reliever J.J. Putz threw a 20-pitch bullpen session on Saturday at Chase Field and proclaimed himself pain free. He has been on the disabled list with a strained right elbow since May 7.

"I'm getting there," Putz said after the session, which occurred hours before the D-backs played the Giants in the second matchup of the three-game series. "I had no pain today so it was good.

"I've just been working on arm strength and had a couple of flat grounds. Today was the big day throwing off the mound."

The plan is to have Putz throw another bullpen on Tuesday and a simulated game on Friday. If all continues to go well, Putz will then probably head to the Minors for a couple of rehab assignments, manager Kirk Gibson said. That timeline leaves Putz's Major League reactivation about 10 days to two weeks away.

"All and all I think he felt good. He threw the ball fine," Gibson said. "I'm sure he'll get better every time he throws. Maybe after the live BP on Friday we'll get him into a game somehow."

Putz, who has been the team's closer since signing as free agent prior to the 2011 season, never seemed to have his good stuff this year. He's 2-1 with a 4.26 ERA in 14 appearances and has blown four saves in nine opportunities. On May 7 at Dodger Stadium, he was brought in as usual in the ninth inning and came out immediately after walking Nick Punto.

Putz hasn't pitched since and has been supplanted in the closer's role by Heath Bell, who recorded his 11th save in 13 opportunities in the D-backs' 3-1 victory over the Giants on Friday night. Gibson said he isn't certain yet how he will phase Putz back in when he returns.

Given that D-backs starter Daniel Hudson recently re-injured his ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and is facing his second Tommy John surgery since July 9, Putz said he feels fortunate.

"I feel like I got lucky that it was just a strain," he said. "Considering what poor Daniel has to go through again, that's unbelievable. I'm very relieved, and today was another big step in the right direction. It's more relief rather than frustration, being able to let it loose and not have any restrictions."

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow@boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{}
{}
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español