Groin better, Putnam available in 'pen

Groin better, Putnam available in 'pen

CHICAGO -- Zach Putnam declared himself ready to go for Tuesday night's game after the reliever was shut down for four days after tweaking his right groin when warming up in the bullpen Friday in Seattle. He was scheduled to enter the game, but the right-hander decided it was the best for him and the team to get someone else in there.

"When you tweak a muscle like that, you run the risk of -- even though if you think you can get back out there -- if you do and it happens again, you're dealing with it for months rather than a couple of days," Putnam said. "So I think that was the thing, is just trying to get through the end of the season healthy. I had to sacrifice a few days here so I can get a bunch back on the back end."

Putnam, who has a 2.93 ERA over 40 games, threw a bullpen session Monday and felt healthy enough to pitch. He has played an integral part in the White Sox bullpen for a second straight season. But with the addition of David Robertson and Zach Duke and the return of Nate Jones, the club's relief crew appears to be a strong suit as opposed to the liability it was in 2014.

"We've got a really good group down there and we're pretty well equipped for just about any situation," Putnam said. "As far as my own role, as I always have been, I'm pretty much open for what's best for the club on that particular night.

"The way I've been used so far, I've kind of been a later inning, when we've got lefties and righties coming up. I think [manager] Robin [Ventura] and [pitching coach Don Cooper] and the staff like to use me in those situations just because I can be effective against both sides of the plate."

Around the horn

• The White Sox made one out on the bases in Monday's setback, when Avisail Garcia was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double to end the sixth, and they had three more in Tuesday's 5-4 victory. Their total in that category sits at 59 for the season.

"If you make it, it always looks good, being aggressive," said Ventura of the team's baserunning. "We had one [Monday] with Alexei [Ramirez] being aggressive, he goes in there.

"Even Avi, he made it in there and then came off the bag. There's a good amount of being aggressive and there's also the amount, when you're out, nobody ever likes it when you're out. It always seems when you're out you're too aggressive. We like being aggressive. They made some good choices, but you have to be able to stay on the bag."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.