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D-backs hope Putz can end season on high note

D-backs hope Putz can end season on high note

D-backs hope Putz can end season on high note

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."

Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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