Sep. 25, 2011; Phoenix AZ, USA; Arizona DIamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero (26) shakes hands with pitcher J.J. Putz (40) at the end of the game against the San Francisco Giants at Chase Field. The Diamondbacks won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Hilderbrand-US PRESSWIRE

D-Backs' J.J. Putz Hoping For Another Dominant Season


 

Question:  How does a person miss a 6-5, 250 pound closer with over a 150 career saves?   Answer:  When that closer’s name is J.J. Putz  and his best seasons have been with the Seattle Mariners  and  Arizona Diamondbacks.

Putz did have a nice year with the Chicago White Sox  in 2010 primarily as a setup man but his 2009 season with the New York Mets  was a disaster as injuries limited him to 29 games and a messy 5.29 ERA.  If Arizona is to repeat as  National League West Champions and win a playoff series or two, they need J.J. Putz  to almost match his 2011 stats.

When Opening Day hits on April 6th, Putz will be 35 years, an age where most closers begin to experience a performance dropoff.  If you factor in his injury history, there is some concern that Putz won’t be able to repeat his outstanding 2011 season.  There are two views when it comes to examining 2012 for the big reliever.  The positive take is that he has only thrown about 460 innings in his Big League career.  That is a small number compared to most pitchers at his age.  You can compare Putz’s situation to that of former New York Yankees  standout Jorge PosadaHe became the primary catcher for the Yanks at the age of 26 and was still a productive player at his position at 35, a time when most catchers are platooning, looking for another spot or retired.  The negative view is that Putz has never strung together three consecutive productive and relatively healthy seasons.  Well, 2012 is year number three and at 35 with all of the Disabled List  history, he will miss significant time by season’s end.

I am an optimist by nature so I will say Putz will earn 38 saves with a 2.65 ERA in 2012.   That is not quite the season of 2011 but those numbers are playoff-worthy.   In order for the D-Backs to contend, he just can’t be the J.J. Putz of 2009.

 

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Tags: Arizona Diamondbacks Chicago White Sox J.J. Putz Jorge Posada National League West New York Mets New York Yankees Seattle Mariners

  • detsportsczar

    If there’s one area of the D-Backs that I’m most uncertain about, it’s closer. Overall the bullpen is very good, but my opinion on JJ Putz is…ehh. He’s an adequate closer or an excellent setup man. However, I also feel that closer is one of the most overrated positions (labels?) in baseball. With Jarrod Parker gone, the D-Backs have to find their closer of future at some point. Putz should be good enough to bridge that gap. If Putz isn’t good enough to do it, maybe Hernandez can. Lot’s of former starters convert to the bullpen and save their careers.

  • detsportsczar

    If there’s one area of the D-Backs that I’m most uncertain about, it’s closer. Overall the bullpen is very good, but my opinion on JJ Putz is…ehh. He’s an adequate closer or an excellent setup man. However, I also feel that closer is one of the most overrated positions (labels?) in baseball. With Jarrod Parker gone, the D-Backs have to find their closer of future at some point. Putz should be good enough to bridge that gap. If Putz isn’t good enough to do it, maybe Hernandez can. Lot’s of former starters convert to the bullpen and save their careers.