PEORIA, Ariz. -- Closer J.J. Putz on Friday expressed confidence that results from an MRI exam he had taken earlier in the day would be positive, paving the way for him to be in the Mariners bullpen on Opening Night and beyond. "I don't have any answers right now, but the result has been sent to Seattle for our doctor to look at," Putz said. A club official said a radiologist in Arizona has seen the results, but team medical director E. Edward Khalfayan had not, and the club would not comment further. Khalfayan will view the exam results in Seattle on Saturday and Putz's short-term status could be determined at that time.
But as far as the 30-year-old Putz is concerned, there is no reason for concern. "This was just precautionary," he said. "If this was August, I'd be pitching. The only reason I brought it up at all is because it's Spring Training." With Putz being such a huge part of the Mariners bullpen, a better-safe-than-sorry approach has been followed from the day he first mentioned that his right elbow was a little sore. As a result, Putz has been limited to one Cactus League outing -- a one-inning stint against the Cubs on March 6. Putz returned to the mound on Thursday morning for a 25-pitch bullpen session, primarily throwing fastballs, and it appeared to go well. "Everything was fine," Putz said. "It was a little sore, as expected, but when I started doing my other [postgame work], it started to hurt a little more. It was in the same area of the elbow as before, and that's why they decided to have the MRI." Putz was given some anti-inflammatory medication and returned to his Arizona home. "When I woke up this morning, the pain was minimal," he said, "but the MRI had already been planned." Putz said it would be at least two days before he can throw again, allowing the dye that was inserted into his elbow to dissipate. Opening Day is slightly more than two weeks away, but Putz believes he'll have enough time to get ready for the opener against the Athletics at Safeco Field on April 2. "I don't need much time," Putz said.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.