BOSTON -- J.J. Putz has made a good living and carved out quite a successful niche as a Major League reliever.
But in the matter of his recent bout with tendinitis in his right kneecap, being a starter might have helped him avoid any game inactivity.
"At the time, with [Matt] Thornton being banged up, there wasn't the luxury of getting two or three days to let everything calm down," said Putz prior to the start of Saturday's day-night doubleheader between the White Sox and Red Sox at Fenway Park.
"That's all it really needed," he said. "If I was a starter, with four days in between, I probably would not have even gone to the disabled list. It's one of those things where the medicine had to run its course, and three, four or five days after I started with it, the medicine made it feel a lot better."
Putz was placed on the DL on Aug. 25 but fully expects to return when he is eligible, on Thursday in Detroit. The right-handed setup man threw a "fairly aggressive bullpen" session on Friday and felt "really good."
"We are definitely moving in the right direction," said Putz, who has a 2.68 ERA over 50 games.