Diamondbacks place J.J. Putz on disabled list, will use Heath Bell as their ninth-inning man

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As expected, the Diamondbacks have placed right-hander J.J. Putz on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right elbow. Putz suffered the injury Tuesday night during a relief appearance against the Dodgers and could sidelined for an extended period of time. In fact, ESPN’s Buster Olney says “all signs point” to the veteran needing a major elbow procedure.

Will Harris, a right-handed reliever, was recalled from Triple-A Reno to fill the vacant 25-man roster spot.

Heath Bell is going to take over at closer for the Diamondbacks despite owning a rough 4.73 ERA and 1.43 WHIP through 13 1/3 innings this season.

He had a 5.09 ERA and 1.56 WHIP in 63 2/3 innings last year with Miami and blew eight saves.

If Bell falters — which seems kind of inevitable — David Hernandez will likely get the next crack.

Mets to move Matt Harvey to the bullpen

Matt Harvey
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Mets right-hander Matt Harvey is heading to the bullpen, according to comments made by club manager Mickey Callaway on Saturday. As predicted, Harvey doesn’t appear to be taking the news particularly well, going so far as to tell Callaway that the decision has him “at a 10 with being pissed off” and that he’s motivated to prove himself as a starter.

It’s been rough going for Harvey this spring. After missing significant time to a shoulder injury last season, the 29-year-old righty returned to the mound with a lot left to prove. He pitched to an 0-2 record in four starts, issuing 14 runs, four home runs and 17 strikeouts in 21 innings. It’s been a while since the Mets have seen anything better out of their starter — he hasn’t turned in a sub-4.00 ERA since 2015 and hasn’t pitched well enough to earn an All-Star berth since 2013 — and now it appears they’re at the end of their rope.

At this point, the Mets insist that the shift is a temporary one. While Callaway has helped successfully convert several starters to the bullpen, including Trevor Bauer and Carlos Carrasco, that’s not the plan for this veteran right-hander. Instead, both the team and Harvey seem to view the change as a way to clear up any mental blocks Harvey may be encountering on the mound. “We know he’s healthy,” assistant GM John Ricco told reporters. “He’s feeling good. Then you get to, is this a little bit of a mental thing, a confidence thing? One of the things we talk about is getting him into the ‘pen, where he can have success in short spurts, get that confidence back and really let it go and get back to being a guy who can dominate the way he’s shown in the past.”

Harvey will be eligible to pitch out of the bullpen on Tuesday, when the Mets are scheduled to kick off their next road series against the Cardinals. As for his replacement, left-hander Jason Vargas will resume his role in the rotation when he comes off the disabled list next Saturday.