News out of Oakland today has Diamondbacks closer J.J. Putz being placed on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow tendonitis. Sam Demel has been reinstated from the disabled list from his own bout with tendonitis.
Demel has been on the disabled list since late May. He has a streak of 4.2 hitless innings (6 games) going back to May 6th and his ERA is a very respectable 1.72. He only pitched two innings in Reno on his rehab assignment. Fittingly, he was traded from the Oakland A's last June for Conor Jackson. I think we can all relax a little knowing Sam is back in the bullpen!
However, J.J. Putz going on the disabled list brings a new set of worries....
After saving 16 straight games to start the season, Putz blew four saves in the month of June. He took the loss in Monday's game against the Indians and blew the save Tuesday. Kirk Gibson mentioned lack of velocity as a problem and feared he was going through a "dead arm" phase, but apparently tests revealed the injury. Updated: News from Nick and Steve via Twitter: GM Kevin Towers said they don't believe the injury is serious. Putz had a cortisone shot on Wednesday and they hope to have him back after the All-Star break.
Elbow problems are nothing new to J.J. The last three seasons, he's been on the disabled list four times (though only twice with elbow problems). While with the Mets in 2009, he had elbow surgery in June and missed the rest of the season. The elbow has apparently long been a concern, starting with the Seattle Mariners who had to work with J.J. on his throwing mechanics to try to take stress off of his elbow.
While no replacement closer has yet been announced, David Hernandez is the most likely candidate.
Oh, and Sean Burroughs has been brought up as Melvin Mora's replacement and is starting tonight's game at third base. Burroughs was hitting .537 during a current 9-game hitting streak with Reno.