5/22/2013 4:50 P.M. ET
Closer Bell stays ready despite lack of game action
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
DENVER -- When he assumed the closer's role for the D-backs after J.J. Putz's injury, Heath Bell experienced a busy first week, appearing in five games.
However, since saving his sixth game of the year May 15, Bell has not seen game action.
It is not a completely unfamiliar circumstance for the former Padres closer.
"My years in San Diego, we'd go on the road and I wouldn't pitch much because we wouldn't win much on the road, and then I'd come home and pitch five out of seven," Bell said.
In this case ,the D-backs are winning games, but with two complete games on their current road trip and a dearth of save situations, Bell has not been needed.
D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said that Bell has been up in the bullpen three times since his last game action, but Bell said the only time he was fully ready to go into a game was last Saturday when Brandon McCarthy ended up finishing off a three-hit shutout of the Marlins.
The other times he was up, Bell said, he just threw five-to-10 pitches to get his arm loose.
"Makes me feel like I'm pretty sharp. I don't feel rusty at all," Bell said. "I haven't overworked down in the bullpen at all, haven't thrown too many bullpens, haven't thrown too many pitches, been keeping my workload really light, just getting my arm loose and making sure I was throwing the ball exactly where I wanted to."
Eaton's elbow flares up, will get MRI Wednesday
DENVER -- D-backs outfielder Adam Eaton returned to Phoenix and had his left elbow examined by team physician Michael Lee.
Eaton said that Lee told him following Wednesday's exam that it looked like the issue was muscular and not with the ligament, but that he wanted Eaton to have an MRI later Wednesday to make sure.
Eaton experienced discomfort in the elbow Monday while playing for Triple-A Reno in Round Rock, Texas.
After serving as a designated hitter for most of the month and strengthening his arm, Eaton began playing in the outfield last Friday and Saturday for Class A Visalia. He made a couple of throws in games there and did not have any problems.
After a travel day Sunday, Eaton played in the outfield for Reno on Monday, and the problem in the elbow cropped up again.
"Everything was going really well," Eaton said. "Made a couple of strong throws in Visalia and then got to Round Rock, and the first one there, I felt a little discomfort. Then I felt it again, and I just knew this isn't right. Against my better judgment -- because I usually try to play through stuff like that -- I told the trainer, and they got me right out of the game."
Eaton underwent treatment on the elbow Tuesday, "and it didn't react well to it."
The elbow problems initially developed for Eaton in March, and he was shut down and placed on the disabled list.
Had this recent setback not occurred, it appeared Eaton would have been able to rejoin the D-backs before the end of the month.
"It just feels like someone punched me in the stomach," Eaton said. "It's tough to have a setback like this, but I have to try and learn what I can during this and go forward. Try to take as much good out of a bad situation."
Eaton remained optimistic heading into his appointment with Lee.
"It doesn't hurt any more or as bad as before," he said. "I think it might just be a couple-of-days shutdown, but I'm just speculating. I was really close, a couple of days away, from being fully built up, so if I only need to miss a couple of days, it shouldn't take me too long. We'll see."
• D-backs manager Kirk Gibson elected not to bring a right-hander in to face Wilin Rosario in the 10th inning Tuesday night in part because Rosario has not fared as well against lefties as he has against righties this year.
Lefties have held Rosario to a .256 mark, while he's hit .294 against righties. Over his career, though, Rosario has hit .321 against lefties and .246 vs. righties.
• Gibson was asked if he thought starter Ian Kennedy has not been as sharp with his command this year.
"His pitch count has been higher," Gibson said. "I don't know if it's command or if he's nibbling more, might nibble around the edges a little more."
• D-backs starting pitchers entered Wednesday's game with an 8-3 record and a 2.29 ERA over their last 15 games.
• Arizona is the only team in the Majors not to be shut out this season.
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.