A few weeks ago, J.J. Putz was a legitimate candidate to represent the Diamondbacks at the All-Star Game next week at Chase Field in Phoenix. Now Putz will be watching that game -- and all the rest of them until then -- from the sidelines.
Putz, who had elbow surgery in 2009 and an unspectacular 2010 before coming out of the gate healthy and dealing for Arizona, was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday with right elbow tendinitis, something that has been bothering him for more than a week.
Putz, who started the season with 16 straight saves to set a club record and has 21 for the season, complained of elbow soreness after working three straight days in Kansas City and Detroit and tests showed swelling behind the elbow.
Right now, the prognosis is positive. Putz had a cortisone shot and is shut down for the next 13 days. The hope is he'll be ready to go when the All-Star break ends on July 15 and be pain-free.
David Hernandez, who like Putz has struggled of late, will assume the closer role in Putz's absence and that will result in a juggling of the whole bullpen. But it's worth it for Arizona to have Putz back and at 100 percent -- and dealing out automatic saves as he was for the first two months of the season.
The Diamondbacks were already looking for bullpen help in the form of a seventh-inning guy to set up Hernandez and Putz, but the injuries and the tired arms that are popping up should add some urgency to that search.
--INF Sean Burroughs was added to the roster on Friday for the second time this year. Burroughs started at third base a day after Arizona released veteran Melvin Mora. Mora was a huge disappointment after hitting just .228 after signing a $2.35 million contract with Arizona. The Diamondbacks are actively seeking a third baseman and want to keep Wily Mo Pena's bat on the bench.
--RHP Sam Demel picked a good time to get healthy with Putz headed to the DL. Out since May 24 with right shoulder tendinitis, Demel missed 36 games but was activated on Friday and went right to work against the A's, allowing just one hit over 1 1/3 innings. "I've felt strong for about two weeks and I was good to go and I felt good out there," Demel said.
--RHP Josh Collmenter has fallen into a pattern and it's becoming a rut. After breezing through the lineup twice, Collmenter was hit hard the third time through the lineup in what's becoming a steady pattern that manager Kirk Gibson said has to change. Down 5-1, the Arizona bullpen shut out the A's the rest of the way but the damage was done. "He didn't get through five innings again and he has to learn to mix things up more," Gibson said. "He goes fastball-changeup and he has to change some patterns. Hitters have adjusted to him and it's his turn to make some adjustments.
--OF Wily Mo Pena has earned a permanent spot on the Arizona bench when interleague play ends. But he continues to thrive as a DH, hitting his fourth home run in just 30 at-bats as a DH on Friday. His four home runs have come in seven starts since being recalled on June 21.
--INF Kelly Johnson is starting to heat up again. He had two hits including his 14th home run of the season on Friday and now has four hits in the last three games. He's still hitting a sorry .214 for the season, but Arizona is hoping it's a sign he will get back on the kind of streak that helped the Diamondbacks go on a big run in May.
DIAMOND STAT: 9 to 5 - The Diamondbacks allowed five runs on Friday -- the first time in nine games that Oakland has scored at least five runs.
QUOTABLE: They got big hits and we didn't, especially early. We have to be ready from pitch one. It seems like the last couple games it's been kind of sluggish to start." -- Arizona second baseman Kelly Johnson.
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