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02/27/11 8:28 PM EST

Putz taking it slow, will debut March 7

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- D-backs closer J.J. Putz will not appear in a Cactus League game until March 7, but manager Kirk Gibson said there was nothing to worry about.

"He's great," Gibson said of Putz, who was signed to a two-year deal this winter.

Gibson said Putz has a good feel for how long it takes him to get ready for a season and that the veteran participates each day in the pitching drills in the morning.

"He's probably only going to throw seven times, maybe eight innings," Gibson said of Putz's Cactus League action. "He knows what he has to do, he's throwing the ball great, he's lights-out. He's going to do bullpens and he likes to do a lot of long toss. He wants to build his arm strength. Different people like to do it different ways."

Kennedy feels good getting back to action

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Ian Kennedy was not overly sharp, but the right-hander was pleased with the work he got in during Sunday's game against the Giants at Salt River Fields.

Kennedy allowed four hits and walked a batter while giving up two runs in two innings of work.

"My fastball was leaking over the plate a little too much," Kennedy said. "But healthwise, physically, I felt good. It's nice to have some competition."

Both the runs off him came in the second inning on back-to-back RBI singles by Ryan Rohlinger and Emmanuel Burriss.

"The first time out, the second inning is always a battle to get focused again because you haven't been doing that for some time," Kennedy said.

Said D-backs manager Kirk Gibson, "First outing, he threw the ball well and his arm feels good. That's encouraging."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @dbackswriter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.