ANAHEIM -- A decision date for Zach Putnam and his immediate pitching future could come next week, after the White Sox reliever threw off the mound Saturday for the first time since walking the bases loaded in the ninth at Fenway Park on June 20.Putnam threw somewhere around 20 pitches
ANAHEIM -- A decision date for Zach Putnam and his immediate pitching future could come next week, after the White Sox reliever threw off the mound Saturday for the first time since walking the bases loaded in the ninth at Fenway Park on June 20.
Putnam threw somewhere around 20 pitches at Angel Stadium, focusing solely on cutters and sinkers, and said the results were about what he envisioned.
"It didn't feel great. But again, it's about expectations. I didn't expect it to feel great," said Putnam, who hasn't thrown off of a mound since Boston, although he has played catch regularly. "I'm going to chalk it up to first time off the mound in a while.
"Even with a completely healthy arm, there's going to be some aches and pains and stuff that doesn't feel good the first time out. We are going to see how it responds tomorrow and try to get on the bump two days from now, maybe.
"For me, for the whole process and for my psyche, the second [mound session] will be more important than the first one," Putnam said. "Kind of bang the rust off here today. It didn't feel great, but it wasn't awful. Just going to hope that it feels a little better next time out, and build off of that."
After being placed on the 15-day disabled list with ulnar neuritis in his right elbow, Putnam began weighing options ranging from surgery to remove bone chips to a more serious surgical repair of the Tommy John variety. Putnam has tried to work his way back and avoid any sort of surgery until after the '16 season, but admits that being able to throw somewhat competitively factors into his final decision.
"It's not doing anybody any good if I try to get back in there and I can't get guys out and I'm not feeling good. It's a bad situation for everybody," Putnam said. "I wouldn't put the team through that. I wouldn't put myself through that. Again, I'm still kind of day to day right now. It's just trying to make a decision and gain a little bit of information today.
"Just because it didn't feel great today, I don't think it's the end of the road, by any means. As I said, next time out will be a little bit more telling."
Turner gets the call
Jacob Turner officially was announced Saturday night as the White Sox starter for Sunday's series finale in Anaheim. The right-hander has a 4-7 record with a 4.71 ERA over 18 starts for Triple-A Charlotte. The White Sox could have gone with Chris Sale or José Quintana, who didn't have heavy workloads in their respective All-Star appearances Tuesday, but White Sox manager Robin Ventura wanted to give them extra rest.
"Having worked in the All-Star Game, I didn't necessarily ask [Sale] about it, but sometimes they can overthrow and let it go a little more than they would in a normal game," said Ventura of Sale, who threw nine pitches in San Diego, and Quintana, who threw 13. "I know it was only one inning, but you want to make sure they have that rest."
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.