The Diamondbacks activated closer J.J. Putz from the 15-day disabled list Saturday, a move that was expected with Putz having made several rehab appearances without a setback, and optioned pitcher Zeke Spruill to Triple-A Reno to clear a roster spot.
Putz had been on the disabled list since leaving a May 7 game against the Dodgers with a right elbow strain. It was initially believed that he might need surgery, but an MRI showed only a strain, and Putz elected to rehab it. After a few weeks of rest, the 35-year-old made four rehab appearances at Triple-A Reno, allowing one run on two hits while striking out four in a total of four innings, the last two coming in back-to-back games earlier this week.
In 14 games for the D-backs this season, Putz is 2-1 with five saves in nine opportunities and a 4.26 ERA. In 131 games spanning three seasons in Arizona, he is 5-8 with 82 saves and a 2.66 ERA.
It is unknown if Putz will immediately assume the closer’s role. Heath Bell received most of the save chances in Putz’s absence but has allowed homers in five of his last outings while blowing two saves. His ERA has risen to 4.85.
Spruill, a right-hander acquired in the Justin Upton trade with the Braves, appeared in four games for the Diamondbacks after being called up two weeks ago for his first stint in the majors. He allowed one run one four hits while striking out five in 4 1/3 innings. In 14 starts with Double-A Mobile and Reno this season, he is a combined 3-6 with a 3.12 ERA. At the time of his call-up, he had thrown 17 straight scoreless innings over his last two minor league starts.