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zach putnamToday the Chicago Cubs swapped relievers with the Iowa Cubs, sending down recently-claimed Alex Burnett in favor of Zach Putnam, a similarly-aged righty with a slightly better pedigree.

Putnam, 25, was one of the Cubs’ many roster grabs late last year, and he actually had a shot to make the bullpen out of Spring Training. He wasn’t ultimately selected, and he has since been pitching quite well at Iowa. He’s a legitimate long-term option, having been a quality relief prospect for the Indians and Rockies before the latter decided they couldn’t afford to keep him on the 40-man roster. At Iowa, Putnam has a 3.26 ERA over 19.1 innings. More impressively, he’s striking out 10.2 per 9 while walking just 2.8 per 9.

Putnam came up for some discussion a few days ago when Fujikawa’s injury first popped up and the discussion about how to replace him began.

Burnett remains a long-term stash, and the Cubs had the benefit of being able to option him down. Now they’ll get a chance to see what they have in Putnam at the big league level while keep Burnett around for the future. Possibly.

Kyuji Fujikawa was transferred to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Putnam on the 40-man roster.

  • ETS

    Good. Putnam deserves a shot. He should have been call up long ago.

  • Patrick G

    Would have liked to of seen Camp go down and keep Burnett up

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Camp’s on the DL.

      • Patrick G

        Then release him! Feed him to the dogs

        • Cubbie Blues

          That’s a bit harsh. No?

          • Patrick G

            I’d rather see Bowden, Putnam and Burnett since they’re all young and could possibly help in future. Camp has no trade value and gettin up in age

  • @cubsfantroy

    I figured they were just going to keep Burnett up to see how he does. I like this move though, Putnam deserves the chance to pitch on the big league club.

  • North Side Irish

    Fangraphs just posted an article reviewing Marmol’s command from yesterday’s game and think he needs to throw more sliders. Isn’t that how he got in trouble last season?

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/an-inning-with-carlos-marmols-command/

    • Edwin

      I think the “Carlos needs to throw less sliders” was overplayed. In 2012, he threw sliders 49% of the time, basically the 2nd lowest of his career. The problem with Marmol is less about his slider and how often he throws it, and more about his fastball, and lack of control/command. Marmol has a great slider, and a terrible fastball. If Marmol can locate his fastball and get ahead, he’s filthy. If he can’t control his fastball, he’s walk city. The last couple years, more often than not, he can’t control his fastball. Throwing more fastballs won’t work if he can’t throw them for strikes.

      • Scotti

        While I agree that Marmol shouldn’t shy away from his slider, the fangraphs guy wiffed on what command is. Command isn’t a pitcher’s “ability to hit spots” it is the frequency of which a pitcher “has” that pitch. For instance, Marmol has a plus, plus slider but, if he throws a FLAT slider on a given pitch, THAT is lack of command. Missing a spot is just “control”. Marmol also has a plus fastball. If he misses with a 94-95 mph fastball then that it’s due to control. If that fastball comes in at 90-91 on a given pitch then THAT is lack of command.

        • Edwin

          Agreed.

    • SirCub

      Meh, I don’t think that was really the conclusion of the piece. Just an observation, based on a very small sample.

  • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor (no relation)

    The thing that I noticed yesterday from Alex Burnett that no one is talking about was how Dioner Navarro was setting up his glove and he was missing it-every pitch. He got lucky that some stuff crossed the plate, lucky that it wasn’t wild, miss-the-plate-like-Marmol kind of stuff, and lucky that the White Sox hitters were swinging at pitches ending up in the dirt. So, I don’t know if it was adrenaline from playing for a new team, wanting to impress, and/or needing to settle down or what, but you don’t need to have that at all with a big lead coming into the game. I’m curious to see how he does the next time he’s used.

    #You’ve been warned

  • Zachary

    Why isn’t Parker and Negerin being called up. They are Iowa two best relievers and they are young. I’m sick off watching all of these waiver guys pitching in relief. There is a reason they got put on waivers. Cause they suck

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