For the second time this month, the Arizona Diamondbacks have designated an under-performing, veteran pitcher for assignment. This time, it was J.J. Putz who was given his walking papers after posting a 6.59 ERA in 18 games, covering 13 2/3 innings. It likely represents the end of the line for Putz’s time in Arizona as his contract is up after this season. Ender Inciarte was activated from the 7 day concussion list and will take Putz’s place on the roster.
Instead of focusing on the negative end to J.J.’s career in the desert, I would like to salute the time he put in with the D’backs. He was instrumental in the team’s surprising 2011 National League West title with his 45 saves and 2.17 ERA. The 45 saves represents the second best single season total in franchise history (Jose Valverde‘s 47 in 2007 is first). He followed that up with 32 saves (fourth best all-time) in 2012 before injuries started to get the better of him. Putz pitched only 34 1/3 innings in 2013 but still recorded a 2.36 ERA. He did walk 17 hitters but gave up only 26 hits. Most people with the D’backs will remember him for being a good guy and a clubhouse leader. That’s the way I would like to remember him. 2014 has been a disaster or everyone so it is best to turn the page on this season as quickly as possible. The Big Guy leaves with 83 career saves for the D’backs, good for second place behind Valverde’s 98.
We hope J.J. Putz can hook up with a contender and get a another playoff appearance as his career begins to wind down.