Diamondbacks will use Heath Bell as closer for now
J.J. Putz is healthy, but his arm strength isn't back. The Diamondbacks have taken him out of the closer role for now. Heath Bell will close.
NEW YORK -- Just three days after activating J.J. Putz off the disabled list, the Diamondbacks have decided he's not ready to close games.
Manager Kirk Gibson said Tuesday that he plans to use Heath Bell as his closer for now, while looking for ways to use Putz earlier in games and build up his arm strength. Putz missed almost two months with an elbow strain. And while he says he's healthy, he agreed that his arm strength hasn't yet returned.
"The ball just isn't coming out of his hand as well," Gibson said.
Putz has pitched twice since coming off the DL. He failed to hold a 3-2 lead in the ninth inning on Monday night against the Mets and was charged with the Diamondbacks' 16th blown save of the season.
The Diamondbacks are tied with the Orioles, Dodgers and Cubs for the most blown saves in the major leagues.
Bell was 13 for 15 in save chances while Putz was on the DL, but he has also struggled lately. Bell allowed home runs in five consecutive appearances in the middle of June.
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