The Astros are interested in J.J. Putz

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Following up on the Brett Myers stuff from this morning, the Astros are reportedly interested in J.J. Putz as well, says MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart.  I guess if they get them both the team would have two putzes.

As Matthew said in his free agency preview, Putz has slid down the slope in the past three years, going from a 1.38 ERA in 71 2/3 innings in 2007 to a 3.88 ERA
in 46 1/3 innings in 2008 to a 5.22 ERA in 29 1/3 innings last season, with an UCL tear in his elbow last year as the cherry on top.

Masahiro Tanaka to throw off a mound this weekend

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Earlier this month Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka strained both of his hamstrings while running the bases in an interleague game against the Mets and was sent to the 10-day DL. Today it was announced that the beginning of the end of most DL stints for pitchers — throwing off of a mound — is in Tanaka’s immediate future.

Tanaka is scheduled to throw off a mound Sunday, which will be his first real (well, fake real) pitching action since the June 9th injury. Assuming the session goes well, Tanaka is expected to return to the Yankees’ starting rotation sometime in early-to-mid July. With the All-Star break coming the week of July 16, it would not be hard to imagine the Yankees giving him a few extra days to get right.

Tanaka is 7-2 with a 4.58 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 73/19 in 72.2 innings on the season.