05/04/2013 12:48 AM ET
D-backs aim to get Putz on track -- as closer
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
SAN DIEGO -- J.J. Putz will remain the D-backs' closer, but his workload will be more closely monitored.
"We need J.J. to get on track," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said.
According to the records Gibson keeps, Putz worked eight out of 11 days counting the times he warmed up to come into a game but did not wind up being summoned.
Toward the end of that stretch, there was a noticeable drop in Putz's velocity.
"What does that tell you?" Gibson said. "I probably pushed him a little hard there."
Putz has blown four saves so far this year after blowing five all of last year and four in 2011.
"J.J. is my closer," Gibson said. "I'm going to make sure that I monitor him and give him a chance to build back up and get into the season. He's 36 years old. That's just the way he is. I want to give him a better chance to be successful. I don't want to push him as hard as I did."
On days Putz is not available, Gibson said he might use David Hernandez or Heath Bell to close out games.
Bell hopes to dodge boo birds at former home
SAN DIEGO -- D-backs reliever Heath Bell loved pitching in San Diego from 2007-11.
If he sees action for the D-backs this weekend, he is hoping for a better reception than he got in 2012 when he returned as a member of the Miami Marlins.
"Last year I got booed," he said.
Bell saved 134 games during his time with the Padres and had hoped to finish his career there. He thinks the reason he was booed was because fans thought he turned down a lucrative offer from the Padres to sign with the Marlins.
"Probably because in the paper they said [the Padres] offered me like three years, $21 million, and I left for more money in Miami," Bell said. "But I was never offered that."
After a miserable year in Miami, Bell was dealt to the D-backs this past offseason with two years left on his contract.
"I'm hoping to finish my career as a Diamondback right now, past this contract that I have now," he said. "When I find someplace I really like, especially like the Diamondbacks, I want to stay here for a long time."
Whether that will happen remains to be seen, but Bell has a more immediate desire.
"I'm hoping not to be booed this year," he said.
Gregorius likely to come off DL soon
SAN DIEGO -- Didi Gregorius' stay on the seven-day concussion disabled list will most likely end Saturday.
Gregorius played in an extended spring game Friday, and the plan was for him to fly to San Diego to be looked at by the team's medical staff.
"He's passed all of his tests," D-backs general manager Kevin Towers said. "More than likely he will join us tomorrow."
Gregorius was hit in the head by a Josh Outman pitch last Friday and sustained a mild concussion.
Towers said he got a text from Minor League hitting instructor Mark Grace on Friday that said Gregorius had turned on a 96-mph fastball and had driven it to right field earlier in the day.
The D-backs will have to make a roster move when Gregorius is activated. When he was put on the DL, the team activated outfielder Jason Kubel from the regular disabled list. That means outfielder Alfredo Marte could be sent down to make room.
• The D-backs' trade of Mark Teahen to the Reds was unable to be completed when Teahen reported a problem with his left shoulder during a physical.
"Two days prior to us trading him he dove for a ball, didn't say anything, didn't show up on any of our medical reports," Towers said. "When he did his physical over there he said he felt something in his shoulder, didn't quite feel right. [He] hadn't said anything to us. [The Reds] basically said there's some concerns because, 'We were expecting to get a healthy player, and if he's not able to go right now, we probably have less interest in doing it.'"
The D-backs were to receive a player to be named later or cash considerations in the deal.
• Second baseman Aaron Hill's recovery from his broken left hand is going slower than expected.
"It's probably healing a little bit slower than he would like or we would like," Towers said. "He's still a little bit tender to the touch."
Hill is not likely to return until the end of May at the earliest.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.