9/14/2013 8:00 P.M. ET
D-backs hope Putz can end season on high note
By Tyler Emerick / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- D-backs veteran relief pitcher J.J. Putz threw his second simulated game in three days Saturday and could be activated from the disabled list as soon as Sunday.
"I guess we'll see how he's feeling tomorrow," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said before Saturday night's matchup with the Rockies. "I thought he threw good. I'm optimistic he's close."
Putz, sidelined since Aug. 24 with a dislocated right little finger, threw around 25 pitches off the mound Saturday and Gibson doesn't think the right-hander will need any more side sessions before he returns.
The 2013 season hasn't been kind to Putz, so the D-backs would like for him to end his campaign on a positive note to take some confidence into the offseason. The 36-year-old began the year as the club's closer, but after a rough April, he suffered an elbow strain in May that forced him to miss two months. Then, after blowing a save in his second appearance back from the DL, the D-backs decided to remove Putz from the ninth-inning role.
Putz then posted a 1.08 ERA in August before landing on the DL.
"His arm is fine and I think he'll be better off if he finishes strong than he would if he didn't," Gibson said. "He was on the disabled list, came back, didn't throw the ball really well, then he threw the ball well like he had in the past before he got hurt. So I think if he could get back to that again, it'd be huge for him next year."
Reynolds may face Tommy John surgery
PHOENIX -- More than three months removed from the initial strain in his ulnar collateral ligament (elbow) that forced him to go on the disabled list, D-backs relief pitcher Matt Reynolds figured he only needed one more throwing session after Thursday's before he could be activated and make his return to the mound at Chase Field.
But after discomfort in the elbow forced him to end his throwing program early, Reynolds will visit team doctors on Monday to determine yet again if he'll need Tommy John surgery.
"I was just throwing and I started to get some elbow pain," Reynolds said on Saturday. "It was sharper than before, so I shut it down. Everything was going good before, I was almost done and I felt like I was throwing the ball well, too. It's a tough pill to swallow. Bad time to have a setback."
Reynolds has been sidelined since June 10 and the hope at first was that he could avoid a surgical procedure by resting the elbow before slowly building up his strength again. Now, after this setback, the team isn't so optimistic.
"When you have an injury like that then you come back and feel pain like that, usually it's not good," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said.
Reynolds said he doesn't know what to expect when he visits the doctor on Monday, but for his own good, he's not setting his expectations too high.
"It's easier to do mentally," he said. "Prepare for the worst, hope for the best. It's easier to handle then if it's better news."
Before getting hurt, Reynolds was one of the D-backs' most reliable relievers in 2013, posting a 1.98 ERA in 27 1/3 innings while striking out 23 batters.
Paid up: Irish's Pollock dons Michigan jersey
PHOENIX -- With the college football season in full swing, a couple of D-backs players made a friendly wager last weekend when their alma maters squared off. J.J. Putz, a product of Michigan, bet A.J. Pollock, a Notre Dame alum, that the Wolverines would take down the Fighting Irish.
So after Michigan's 41-30 victory, Pollock was forced to wear a Wolverines jersey on Saturday during batting practice before the D-backs' game vs. the Rockies.
"He paid up," Putz said. "But it's a special privilege to wear the Michigan colors anyways."
Even though he was disappointed his team lost, Pollock wasn't too upset about holding up his end of the bargain. Putz, who shared a dorm with Tom Brady in college, brought his No. 10 Brady jersey for Pollock to wear.
"Tom Brady is my favorite player, so I don't mind," Pollock said. "I can't complain too much."
The target of some good-natured ribbing on Saturday, Pollock will have a chance to take back bragging rights in the clubhouse in a couple weeks when Notre Dame faces Arizona State, which produced Willie Bloomquist.
"We we're actually talking about it today," Pollock said. "We'll see what happens, I'm sure we'll come up with something fun."
Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.