J.J. Putz signed on to be the Diamondbacks’ closer with a two-year, $10 million deal this offseason, but the veteran right-hander won’t make his spring training debut until March 7 despite nothing being wrong with him physically.
Arizona manager Kirk Gibson explained to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com that Putz will focus on building up his arm strength with bullpen sessions and long toss while likely only logging a total of around eight innings of actual game action. “Different people like to do it different ways,” Gibson said.
Putz threw 8.1 innings for the White Sox last spring and went on to have a fantastic season in a setup role, posting a 2.83 ERA and 65 strikeouts in 54 innings. If healthy, he’s one of the main reasons why I think the Diamondbacks are very capable of out-performing their low expectations this season.
The Rangers outrighted reliever Shawn Tolleson off the 40-man roster on Wednesday. Rather than accept the assignment to Triple-A Round Rock, Tolleson has opted to become a free agent, Rangers executive VP of communications John Blake reports.
Tolleson, 28, emerged as a closer for the Rangers in 2015, but his follow-up campaign this year was dreadful. He finished with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He eventually went on the 60-day disabled list with a back injury.
Despite the nightmarish season, it’s easy to see a team deciding to take a flier on Tolleson for the 2017 season.
Indians slugger Carlos Santana hasn’t played in the outfield in a major league game since 2012, but the Indians are strongly considering starting him in left field for Game 3 of the World Series at Wrigley Field on Friday, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. As the game is hosted in a National League park, there is no DH rule in effect, so the Indians might otherwise have to keep Santana on the bench.
Santana is hitless in six at-bats in the World Series thus far, but he has drawn two walks. He has overall not had a great postseason, carrying an aggregate .564 OPS in 40 plate appearances since the beginning of the playoffs. Still, during the regular season, he had an .865 OPS so he can certainly be a threat on offense at any given moment.