The Seattle Mariners have placed All-Star closer J.J Putz on the 15 day DL with a ribcage injury. The injury explains why he blew a lead the previous night to the Texas Rangers, as he felt the discomfort the batter before Josh Hamilton's go ahead homer in the 9th. An MRI exam after the game revealed a mild inflammation where the cartilage attaches to a rib on his right side. I am not totally sure what that means, but it sounds awfully painful, especially for a pitcher.
Although Putz was placed on the 15 day DL, some estimates have him coming back later in April, rather than the middle April. While there is no clear cut closer in the waiting, Mark Lowe had been the primary set up man in the previous two games for the Mariners, and those are generally the guys who get first crack at closing when the situation warrants. This could be similar to Jon Rauch stepping in for Chad Cordero in Washington while The Chief is down. I should note that the Mariners have not officially said that Lowe will be closer, but they have said that they will go with a closer by committee format until they have a better idea.
If you own Putz put him on the DL, and I suggest grabbing Lowe, who probably has the best shot to gather up saves. It is a long season and Putz should be back to his normal, dominant self in about a month or so.
Miguel Batista came in for the save on Wednesday, but don't expect that again. Lowe had thrown the previous few games and was not available. Wednesday was Batista's throw day so he was getting work in on the mound in the game, rather than in the bullpen. Please do not go out and grab Miguel Batista hoping he will be in line for any more saves.