CHICAGO - 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.
Putnam, who will wear uniform number 57, will be available for the Cubs this afternoon against the Chicago White Sox at Wrigley Field.
Putnam, 25, is 1-1 with four saves and a 3.26 ERA (7 ER/19.1 IP) in 17 relief appearances with Iowa this season. He has struck out 22 and walked only six in 19.1 innings, an average of 10.2 strikeouts per nine innings. Putnam has pitched to a 0.82 ERA (1 ER/11.0 IP) in his last 10 outings beginning April 28.
The 6-foot-2, 225-pound righthander 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 of 2011. In 2012, he had two scoreless appearances for the Rockies (2.0 IP) in two stints with the major league club.
Putnam spent the majority of 2012 with Triple-A Colorado Springs, going 3-4 with 12 saves and a 4.15 ERA (28 ER/60.2 IP) in 49 relief appearances. He converted 12 of his first 15 save opportunities and struck out 49 with 27 walks in 60.2 innings.
In 2011, his final season in Cleveland's organization, Putnam was 6-3 with nine saves and a 3.65 ERA (28 ER/69.0 IP) in 44 games with Triple-A Columbus before making his major league debut as a September call-up with the Indians. He went 1-1 with a 6.14 ERA (5 ER/7.1 IP) in eight outings, walking none and striking out nine.
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 of 2012 for pitcher Kevin Slowey.
Burnett, 25, was claimed off waivers from Baltimore on Monday and tossed a scoreless ninth inning yesterday in his Cubs debut.
Fujikawa, 32, was placed on the disabled list on Monday and will undergo season-ending Tommy John ligament replacement surgery.