After missing seven weeks with a right elbow injury, J.J. Putz was activated from the disabled list this afternoon.
Putz originally appeared bound for surgery due to a strained flexor pronator and nerve irritation, but he didn’t have any setbacks after resuming his throwing program and made it through four minor league rehab appearances without any issues. It’s always possible that the symptoms will resurface, but he’s ready to rejoin the Diamondbacks’ bullpen.
Putz was struggling prior to the injury, posting a 4.26 ERA in 14 appearances while blowing four out of his first nine save chances. Heath Bell has been terrible recently, so Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson told Steve Gilbert of MLB.com that Putz will close in a potential save situation. However, he indicated to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic yesterday that he’s unlikely to use him on back-to-back initially.
Alex Rodriguez’s post-retirement renaissance continues apace. After starring as a studio host for Fox’s playoff coverage over the past couple of years, A-Rod is about to be named to, arguably, televised baseball’s top job: color commentary in ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth.
Michael McCarthy of The Sporting News is hearing that ESPN is going to give the gig, vacated by Aaron Boone by virtue of his hiring by the Yankees, to Rodriguez. There he’ll join Jessica Mendoza and whoever they get to replace play-by-play man Dan Shulman, who chose to step back from the Sunday night job following last season. This, by the way, marks the second time A-Rod has taken over Aaron Boone’s job given that he replaced Boone at third base for the Yankees in 2004.
The twist: A-Rod is likely to keep his Fox postseason job too. While some broadcasters work for multiple networks, it’s pretty rare for Fox to allow its talents to work for competitors like that. Apparently they believe keeping A-Rod — who five years ago was one of the most despised figures in baseball — is worth it. What a difference a few years makes.
In other news, Alex Rodriguez is likely to be shunned mightily by the current crop of BBWAA voters when he hits the Hall of Fame ballot in a couple of years. At the rate he’s going, though, their successors will put him in Cooperstown via the Ford Frick Award sometime in the 2040s.