Cubs recall Putnam, option Burnett to Iowa

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(Photo by Stephen Green)

The Chicago Cubs today selected the contract of right-handed pitcher Zach Putnam from Triple-A Iowa and optioned right-handed pitcher Alex Burnett to Triple-A. To make room for Putnam on the 40-man roster, right-handed pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa was transferred to the 60-day disabled list. It was announced yesterday the 32-year-old Japanese reliever will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery.

Putnam, 25, will be available for the Cubs this afternoon against the White Sox at Wrigley Field. So far this season, he is 1-1 with four saves and a 3.26 ERA (7 ER/19.1 IP) in 17 relief appearances with Iowa. He has struck out 22 and walked only six in 19.1 innings, an average of 10.2 strikeouts per nine innings. Putnam has a 0.82 ERA (1 ER/11.0 IP) in his last 10 outings beginning April 28.

The 6-foot-2, 225-pound right-hander has a 1-1 record and a 4.82 ERA (5 ER/9.1 IP) in 10 major league relief appearances since making his debut with Cleveland in September 2011. In 2012, he had two scoreless appearances for the Rockies (2.0 IP) in two stints with the major league club.

Putnam is 20-13 with 30 saves and a 3.86 ERA (135 ER/315.0 IP) in 188 career minor league games, all but 15 as a reliever. He was originally selected by Cleveland in the fifth round of the 2008 draft before Colorado acquired him in January 2012 for pitcher Kevin Slowey. The Cubs claimed Putnam off waivers from Colorado in November 2012.

Burnett, 25, was claimed off waivers from Baltimore on Monday and tossed a scoreless ninth inning yesterday in his Cubs debut.

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