PHOENIX – The Arizona Diamondbacks season spiraled downwards last season when the bullpen fell apart giving away game after game.
It might happen again this season if closer J.J. Putz is hurt and headed to the disabled list.
Putz was unavailable for the D-backs game against the Pirates on Thursday as set-up man David Hernandez had to close out the game.
Hernandez in a post-game interview revealed that he had been told Putz was hurting and wasn’t sure if he would be back for the Florida series this weekend.
“That is a Sedona red flag if I’ve ever heard one. The bullpen could be the downfall of this team,” said Paul Calvisi on the Sports 620 KTAR’s Sports Interactive show on Friday.
Putz missed significant time in Spring Training with a neck issue and is now battling back stiffness.
The D-backs closer has a history of injuries having not been able to finish the last two seasons.
Arizona’s bullpen has struggled mightily in June allowing 18 earned runs in 19 innings of work.
Putz was fantastic to start the season, but has blown two saves in just over the last week.
It’s hard to say if his back issue has been affecting his performance, but one thing is for sure.
If the D-backs lose Putz for an extended period of time, the team will be in serious trouble because the team doesn’t have the depth in the bullpen to withstand a loss of that magnitude.