4/28/2014 8:59 P.M. ET
Even as velocity varies, Putz still force in bullpen
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- When he was struggling during Spring Training, D-backs reliever J.J. Putz kept saying that when the regular season started he would be fine.
Through his first 11 relief appearances, it appears that Putz was right.
In nine of the 11 appearances, he has been unscored upon, and if you take out the three runs he allowed in one-third of an inning against the Cubs last week, his ERA would be 1.04 rather than the 4.00 it was entering Monday's series opener against the Rockies.
"I don't really put too much stock in what people say outside of my teammates and the coaching staff," Putz said of people who may have doubted he could still be effective. "I know who I am, I know what I've done and I know what I'm capable of doing. That's why guys have track records."
Putz has been getting it done with less velocity this year.
"I don't know what the answer is to the velocity thing," he said. "I know it was down last April, too, and it crept back up. I've never thought of myself as a thrower even when I threw 96 miles per hour. I always saw myself as a pitcher."
D-backs manager Kirk Gibson has been pleased with what he's seen from Putz, and with Addison Reed unavailable Saturday after throwing in three straight games, Gibson planned to use Putz for the save before the Phillies rallied in the eighth.
"I think I have a pretty handle on him," Gibson said. "He does a lot of throwing to get his arm strength up and put himself in position to be successful. I think overall his mechanics are really good. He knows where to throw the ball and how to get people out, and he's done very well for us. He's had one rocky outing, but other than that, he's been good."
D-backs add pitching depth by acquiring Harrell
PHOENIX -- The D-backs on Monday acquired right-handed pitcher Lucas Harrell from the Astros for a player to be named later or cash considerations.
Harrell was assigned to Triple-A Reno. The 28-year-old had a 9.49 ERA in three starts for the Astros this year after going 11-11 with a 3.76 ERA for Houston in 2012.
"I know a couple of years ago he had a really good year for Houston and not so good lately," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "But I think the reports say that he still has a pretty good arm. We're looking for depth for sure."
With the season-ending injury to Patrick Corbin as well as the ineffectiveness of Randall Delgado and Trevor Cahill that prompted the team to remove them from the rotation, the organization's pitching depth has been tested.
To this point, the team has elected not to promote top prospect Archie Bradley.
The Harrell trade comes a couple weeks after the team signed veteran left-hander Randy Wolf and sent him to Reno.
Reynolds optimistic as elbow rehab moves forward
PHOENIX -- Left-handed reliever Matt Reynolds played catch from 120 feet Monday and hopes to increase the distance to 135 feet later in the week.
It's all about taking steps forward for Reynolds, who underwent Tommy John surgery last September.
The target time for him to get back on the mound is sometime in June, and he hopes that he can rejoin the team before the end of the season.
"It's not up to me, but I'd like to get back at some point this year, whether it's for a week or a month," he said.
There is still a ways to go before then, but when you've missed as much time as he has, you'll take any ray of hope you can get.
"I feel like I'm starting to get to the point where I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel," he said.
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.