•J.J. Putz was unavailable for Wednesday night’s game against the San Francisco Giants due to a stiff neck. The Diamondbacks’ closer received treatment prior to and during the early innings of last evening’s contest, but informed manager Kirk Gibson he wasn’t available when his neck didn’t loosen after trying to play catch in the fourth frame. David Hernandez came on in relief of Ian Kennedy with two outs in the eighth for the four-out save opportunity. Hernandez yielded two hits, but held the Giants scoreless to earn his first save of 2012.
In 24 appearances this season, Hernandez has been inducing swinging strikes at a career high 13.5% clip, which indicates his 12.52 K/9 (4.00 K/BB) looks to be real. In addition to the whiffs, solid ratios (1.93 ERA and 1.07 WHIP) make the Dbacks set-up man more than just a handcuff in deeper leagues.
Although Putz indicated he should be fine for Friday’s contest, Hernandez could get the call should there be any setback with his stiff neck.
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