The Arizona Diamondbacks placed closer J.J. Putz on the 15-day disabled list Friday with right elbow tendinitis after the right-hander struggled in recent appearances.
The move with Putz is retroactive to Wednesday. Following through on what manager Kirk Gibson announced after Wednesday night’s loss to Cleveland, the Diamondbacks also released third baseman Melvin Mora. Right-handed reliever Sam Demel was activated from the disabled list and veteran infielder Sean Burroughs was promoted from Triple-A Reno.
Arizona begins a three-game interleague series at Oakland on Friday night.
Putz signed a $10 million, two-year contract as a free agent in the offseason and became the leader of a revamped bullpen, converting his first four save opportunities.
But the past month was a rough one. Gibson insisted Monday night that Putz was not hurt, but the reliever gave up a run in the ninth in a 5-4 loss Monday, then allowed a two-run homer on Tuesday to blow a save opportunity in Arizona’s 6-4 victory.
Putz is 1-2 with 21 saves in 25 chances and a 3.21 ERA.
”He’s going to rest it for a while,” Gibson said before Arizona’s game against the A’s. ”It came out after his second appearance. The ball wasn’t coming out of his hand properly. We decided to put him on the DL so he can rest it before it turns into something serious.”
Gibson said setup man David Hernandez would be the closer ”and we’ll see how it works out after.”
Burroughs, who can move into Mora’s backup third baseman role, will be in his second stint with the Diamondbacks. He hit .250 (6 for 24) with a double in 23 games from May 19-June 19, mostly as a pinch hitter. He hit .412 with two homers and 25 RBIs in his two stretches with Reno.
”We sent him down to play quite a bit,” Gibson said. ”We wanted him to play himself into shape at third base.”
Demel had been on the DL since May 25 with right shoulder tendinitis. The 25-year-old reliever was 1-2 with a 1.72 ERA in 21 games before he was hurt.
”He didn’t throw as much as we hoped because Reno had some weather issues,” Gibson said. ”He’s healthy, for sure.”
In other bullpen moves earlier this week, the Diamondbacks selected the contracts of right-hander Yhency Brazoban and lefty Alberto Castillo and optioned right-handers Esmerling Vasquez and Bryan Shaw to Reno.