Were you aware that Putz actually did use to be a starter? He occupied that role for 24 games in 2002, between San Antonio and Tacoma, going 5-14, though with a respectable enough 3.72 ERA. That just seems such a weird concept, almost up there with Mariano Rivera having been a starter. Actually, the switch probably helped him reach the majors in 2003, as that was the year the Mariners had their famous season where every Opening Day starter made every start, and they didn't need anyone from Tacoma. So, even though he said it was "definitely a hard transition" to relief, who knows what might have happened if he'd stayed a starter?
Instead, since then, however, he has been a bullpen guy, with the exception of the odd rehab pseudo-"start", most recently when coming back with our Rookie affiliate in 2011. Today was kinda like that, getting the outing because Wade Miley, whose turn it would normally have been, threw in a B-game yesterday. So, this outing was cobbled together out of an inning each from Putz, Heath Bell and David Hernandez, followed by five innings from various minor leaguers. It didn't start well, Putz giving up a lead-off triple, but he then retired the next three Padres, though the first out did successfully bring the run home.
Bell and Hernandez both pitched well, neither man allowing a hit. Heath struck out two around a walk, while David fanned one in a perfect third inning. That was both pitchers' fourth outing this afternoon. Bell hasn't allowed a run as yet, with two hits, two walks and four strikeouts. Hernandez has got steadily better after allowing three runs in his spring debut. He allowed one in his second appearance, and his last two have been perfect, with a total of three strikeouts. Of course, both men were part of Team America in the WBC. Bell had two more scoreless innings there, giving up one hit, while Hernandez allowed a run on four hits in his 1.2 innings of work.
After that, it was over to the minor-leaguers. Andrew Barbosa, who pitched in A-ball last year, was cuffed around in the fourth, by a Padres line-up still consisting at that point mostly of major-leaguers, and allowed four runs in the fourth. Still, he came back out for the fifth, and retired Will Venable, Jedd Gyorko and Yonder Alonso in order - as his brother pointed out in the Gameday Thread! So, I'm not allowed to say anything bad about Andrew! :) The usual wholesale changes then occurred: Kaleb Fleck struck out two in his scoreless pair of frames, Diogenes Rosario got out of his barrel to pitch a scoreless eight, but Steve Garrison allowed a run on a walk and a hit in the ninth.
Wasn't very much at all going on in the way of offense for the Diamondbacks, as they managed only six hits and two walks, as the game was cantered through in 2:25 - not bad, considering there were a total of 11 pitchers used. We had difficulty solving Eric Stults, who kept us off the board until the fifth, when back-to-back singled from Paul Goldschmidt and Jason Kubel got things going, and both men came around to score, on a Willie Bloomquist ground-out and Gerardo Parra triple respectively. That was it for productive offense. Kubel also got himself a walk, and that was about that, though good to see Adam Eaton take the field, pinch-hitting in the seventh.
Tomorrow afternoon, it's back over to the west of town, and Camelback Ranch, where we'll face the other occupants of the complex, the White Sox. Brandon McCarthy will be starting for the Diamondbacks then.