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D-backs searching for answers with bullpen

PHOENIX -- D-backs general manager Kevin Towers and manager Kirk Gibson were at Chase Field until the wee hours of the morning following Wednesday's 14-inning loss to the Dodgers, discussing the topic that is clearly on the minds of Arizona fans: What can be done about the struggling bullpen?

"Just talking about where do we go," Towers said. "Do we give other people opportunities beginning the second half of the season until some of these other guys get it right? How do we fix it? What other things can we do to try and get guys in the right spots to where we can be more successful? Those are the type of conversations we're having right now."

The D-backs have 19 blown saves this year, most in the Majors.

For now, it appears the D-backs will try to piece things together as best they can during this four-game series with the Brewers and then discuss further options over the All-Star break.

"We're trying to look every which way we can to try and hopefully find the right ingredient here," Towers said. "We've tried to look at home splits, road splits. It's probably more short term now. I think Gibby is just going to look at matchups over the next four days."

J.J. Putz is getting closer to full strength after a lengthy stint on the disabled list, so the team could go back to him in the closer's role sooner rather than later.

As to whether the team will be more aggressive in the trade market, it sounds like Towers wants to search internally before pulling the trigger on a deal.

"We've still got two to two-and-a-half weeks before the Deadline, and we'll have enough time to look at some of our internal options first and foremost before we get real aggressive externally," Towers said.

One of the internal options will not be top pitching prospect Archie Bradley. Towers said the club will not use Bradley in a relief role, preferring to keep him as a starter while he builds up innings.

Gibson did not say before Thursday's game who would close if an opportunity presented itself.

"I think we're in a position now that it's kind of hard to anoint a closer based on where we're at," Towers said. "I don't think that's fair right now. I think we're still in the evaluation process based on what we see over the next three or four days."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.
Read More: Arizona Diamondbacks, J.J. Putz