06/02/11 9:17 PM ET
Putz named Major's top reliever for May
By Anthony Fenech / MLB.com
Off the field, he has been every bit the stabilizing leader at the back end of the bullpen that the team envisioned when signed him in the offseason.
"He's been more than we probably could have imagined he'd be," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He's had a good month and we look forward to many more good months."
On Thursday, Putz was named the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Month for May.
"It's a great honor," Putz said. "There were a lot of guys deserving of it, but I wouldn't have been in those opportunities had the starting pitching not pitched the way it has the last month.
"And the guys in front of me in the bullpen, holding those leads until I can get in there and try to do my job," he continued, "And the guys behind me, they all deserve a little piece of this."
In May, Putz converted all 11 of his save opportunities and allowed just one unearned run on five hits in 13 innings, walking four and striking out 10.
He also won the award in June 2007 as a member of the Mariners.
"He earned it obviously," Gibson said. "He was real effective for us and we were able to have the good fortune to pick him up, but beyond what he's done on the field, I've spoke several times to what he's done off the field and what he means to not only the bullpen or pitching staff but the whole team."
Bloomquist's aggressive style pays dividends
PHOENIX -- Willie Bloomquist wasn't thinking.
"Had I thought about it, I probably wouldn't have gone because it's not really a smart play," the D-backs infielder/outfielder said about advancing two bases on an infield groundout in the ninth inning of Wednesday's 6-5 victory over the Marlins.
"It just kind of happened," he said. "I'm willing to push the envelope and make them make a play."
Standing on first with one out, Bloomquist was running on the 2-1 pitch that Ryan Roberts grounded to third base.
"I had a pretty good idea," he said. "I was a few steps around second base when the third baseman was releasing that ball and figured it would take two long, perfect throws to get me."
He figured right, and after Greg Dobbs connected with Gaby Sanchez for the forceout at first, Bloomquist slid into third without a throw.
The 10-year Major League veteran said he wanted to put more pressure on the defense.
"Maybe they throw that ball away and we get an easy win," he said. "Not only that but it brings up the fact that the pitcher can't throw a curveball in the dirt, or maybe he'll be a little less likely to bury one with a guy on third."
After Kelly Johnson walked, Justin Upton's bloop single to right scored Bloomquist for the victory.
"No, not really," Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez said when asked if he was surprised Bloomquist went first-to-third. "He's a very good runner."
D-backs working on on-field communication
PHOENIX -- Earlier this week, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson talked about how the team is always trying to improve its communication on the field.
"There are tiny communication things in virtually every aspect of the game," he said. "It's important that we watch around."
On Wednesday, starting pitcher Daniel Hudson and first baseman Juan Miranda weren't looking around, until the last second, on a pop fly that landed just in front of the Marlins dugout.
"There was no communication," Hudson said. "I didn't hear anything. Nobody called it."
Hudson was sprinting from the mound and Miranda from first base when the two collided.
"At the last second I saw him so I tried to slide and make a brace for it," Hudson said.
The collision was not serious and both stayed in the game.
Hudson said he wasn't supposed to call it but noted the situation of the game for his hot pursuit.
"I had given up a few runs and I was trying to get an out any way I could by trying to hustle after it," he said.
Communication, along with hustling and staying humble, are things that Gibson preaches on a daily basis.
"I know I've always done it, and encourage everyone else to do it," he said. "You're trying to solve this puzzle and there are clues. You see it and try to communicate."
The D-backs signed right-handed pitcher Yhency Brazoban to a Minor League deal. Brazoban will report to Triple-A Reno on Friday. The 28-year-old has pitched parts of five Major League seasons and has a career 4.70 ERA. He was released by the Rangers on Thursday. He spent five seasons with the Dodgers.
D-backs first baseman Juan Miranda was a late scratch from Thursday's lineup. The team announced he wasn't feeling good. Xavier Nady took his place in the lineup.
Thursday's game was the Nationals' first of a three-city, 11-game road trip to Arizona, San Francisco and San Diego.
Anthony Fenech is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.