J.J. Putz back with Diamondbacks after missing seven weeks with elbow injury

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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.

Nationals place Jeremy Hellickson on disabled list with a sprained wrist

Jeremy Hellickson
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Nationals right-hander Jeremy Hellickson has been assigned to the 10-day disabled list after spraining his right wrist during a 4-2 loss to the Cardinals on Wednesday. The assignment is retroactive to August 15, though it’s not yet certain that Hellickson will be able to resume his role in the rotation after the minimum 10 days.

The 31-year-old righty was through 4 1/3 innings during Wednesday’s start when he threw a wild pitch behind the Cardinals’ Yadier Molina in the bottom of the fifth. He sprinted to cover home plate just as Harrison Bader took off from third base, and the two collided at the plate as Spencer Kieboom‘s throw home sailed over Hellickson’s head. He tumbled to the ground and rolled over his right wrist, then was forced to make a prompt exit from the field after feeling considerable soreness in his right hand.

While the X-rays returned negative, it makes sense for the Nationals to shelve Hellickson for the time being. In a best case scenario, he should miss only one turn through the rotation, provided that he’s able to work back up to full strength in the next week or so. The veteran righty is 5-3 in 18 starts this year with a 3.57 ERA, 1.9 BB/9 and 6.5 SO/9 across 88 1/3 innings. This will be his second official stint on the DL after missing nearly a month due to a right hamstring strain back in June.

In a corresponding move, fellow right-hander Jefry Rodriguez was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse and will fill in for Hellickson during Saturday’s set against the Marlins. Rodriguez, 25, has yet to get comfortable on the major league stage: entering Saturday, the rookie owns a 5.84 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 through 24 2/3 innings.