Tigers put Putkonen on 15-day DL with elbow soreness
DETROIT — First, the Tigers couldn’t find enough chances to pitch him.
Now, his elbow hurts enough that they can’t pitch him at all.
The Tigers on Monday placed little-used long reliever Luke Putkonen on the 15-day disabled list with elbow inflammation, opening a roster spot to add outfielder J.D. Martinez.
“The first I heard about it was a few days ago. But I guess it actually goes back into spring training some, where it wouldn’t necessarily bother him all the time, on all pitches, but on particular pitches it might bother him,” said Tigers manager Brad Ausmus.
“We just need to get it cleared up.”
Detroit’s bullpen was at one over the normal number, after Justin Miller was added on Friday.
The move to DL Putkonen was retroactive to Saturday, the day after the right-hander was pounded around in the Tigers’ 11-6 loss to the Angels, giving up seven runs on five hits in two innings. Before that, he’d pitched only once — six days earlier — causing Ausmus to claim he was a “bad manager” for not getting Putkonen more work.
Still, Putkonen hadn’t said anything.
“He didn’t mention it,” Ausmus said. “It’s a little concerning that it didn’t go away in that period of time where he wasn’t pitching. But (head trainer) Kevin Rand doesn’t seem to think it’s going to be a long-term issue.”