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2/22/1977 (40 y, 1 m, 8 d)
1999 June Amateur Draft - Round: 6, Pick: 11, Overall: 185, Team: Seattle Mariners
$7M / 1 Years (2014)
Putz has been named special assistant to Diamondbacks president and CEO Derrick Hall, MLB.com reports. (11/6/2014)
The Diamondbacks Still Can Reload
Paul Swydan (FanGraphs)
Roto Riteup: March 21, 2014
David Wiers (RotoGraphs)
The Diamondbacks Bullpen
Brett Talley (RotoGraphs)
Bullpen Report: August 18, 2013
Colin Zarzycki (RotoGraphs)
Bullpen Report: July 2, 2013
Benjamin Pasinkoff (RotoGraphs)
(Click Year to Expand /
Year in Review:
The eighth and ninth innings for the New York Mets were supposed to be on total lockdown in 2009 thanks to the newest additions, Francisco Rodriguez and Putz. K-Rod held up his end of the bargain, but Putz struggled in what would be his only year as a Met. His control issues, which began in 2008, persisted, and he couldn't find the stuff that resulted in the fantastic strikeout rates that made him a lights-out closer for the Seattle Mariners in ‘06 and ‘07. As a result, Putz ran a 1.00 K/BB and his FIP of 4.19 was only respectable because of an unsustainably low 3.1% HR/FB rate. Even with his home-run luck, Putz was barely above replacement level, and was shown the door by Mets management.
The Year Ahead:
The promise of the Putz that dominated AL hitters from ‘06 through the early parts of ‘08 will likely be too much for all 30 MLB teams to resist, and he will almost certainly see time in the Major Leagues in 2010. Two years of a 5.40+ walk rate will be tough for Putz to bounce back from, and if he can't, he won't stick in the Majors for long. Still, much of what we've seen from him is based on a small sample, and it's not outside the realm of possibility that he could become a workable middle reliever. Given what can happen to a pitcher after injuries like Putz', though, it's more likely that he's done and, barring a miraculous recovery, he won't be a viable fantasy option. (Jack Moore)
Putz had a nice recovery season with the White Sox in 2010 after mediocre, injury-riddled seasons in 2008 and 2009 in Seattle and New York. Signed to a two-year deal by Arizona, he seems likely to be the closer, which gives him instant value in all 5x5 leagues that include NL players. As for his other numbers, one needs to decide whether 2010 was a return to form after dealing with problems in 2008 and 2009 or if it was the last gasp from a declining player. The best bet is somewhere in between, leaning towards him being good. Putz is a risk given his age, injury history, and the hitter's paradise he'll be pitching in for 2011. However, he gets a ton of strikeouts, should have a decent walk rate, has an above-average ground-ball rate, and, well, saves are saves. (Matt Klaassen)
The Quick Opinion:
Putz's injury history makes him a bit of a risk, but closers are closers in traditional leagues, and his strikeout rate gives him additional value.
It's been four years since Putz was dominating the end game for the Mariners, but he's now strung together two very strong back-to-back years with the White Sox and Diamondbacks. In his return to the closer's role last year, he struck out 9.47 batters per nine while walking just 1.86 per nine, helping him keep his ERA (2.17) and WHIP (0.91) firmly among fantasy's elite. The only problem with Putz is his durability, or lack thereof. He missed four weeks with elbow inflammation and a handful of games with a balky back in 2011, and he's visited the disabled list at least once every year since 2007. Putz is unlikely to get more durable at age 34 (35 in February), so count on him for about 45 excellent innings and nothing more. The spectrum of possibilities next season is quite wide for the veteran righty. (Mike Axisa)
The Quick Opinion:
Production has never really been an issue for Putz, it's all about his health. He's been on the disabled list at least once in each of the last four seasons, but is a safe bet for a strikeout an inning with a WHIP near 1.00 and an ERA near 2.00 when healthy.
Putz’s 32-of-37 save effort in twenty-twelve failed to reach the level of his 45-save season in 2011, but the veteran right-hander maintained fine ratios (2.38 FIP, 1.03 WHIP) while striking out over one batter more per nine than the previous year. The spike in strikeouts isn’t exactly flukey, as Putz induced more swinging strikes (13.2 SwStr%) in 2012 than his 12.0 SwStr% in 2011, supporting the increase in the strikeout rate. If you’re an owner taking a chance on Putz, and are (rightfully) worried about his injury history, be sure to add a Heath Bell or David Hernandez to compliment him late in your draft. Putz is usually only good for about 50 innings a year, and someone else in Arizona will get a chance to close for a couple weeks at least. (Alan Harrison)
The Quick Opinion:
On the heels of a 32-save season, J.J. Putz will enter 2013 as a top-ten closer option for owners willing to pay for saves.
After returning from the disabled list in late June, Putz was unable to take the closer role back from Brad Ziegler. And he won't reclaim the role in 2014 because Arizona acquired Addison Reed in the offseason. But if Reed were to get hurt, Putz is the obvious candidate to take over. Putz's ERA has been under three in each of the least four years (200.2 innings), and he has always had a well above average strikeout rate. If there's one concern it's that Putz's usual above average walk rate went in the tank last year. His walk rate had been down around 5% in the previous two seasons, but it spiked up to 12.1% last year because batters just stopped swinging as much. His swing percentage fell 6.7%, and it fell more outside the zone than in. That's a problem you'd like to see rectified. But it's not so much of a concern to make you think Putz couldn't hold down the closer role if he got it back. Especially since injury probably played some role in those outcomes. Putz should be a good source of holds as he'll likely be the eighth inning guy for Arizona. (
The Quick Opinion:
Putz's walk rate rose sharply last year, but his other skills remained intact, so he should be able to hold down the eighth inning role in front Addison Reed. He'll be a good source of holds and could possibly be the guy who gets the first shot at saves if Reed gets hurt.
The Arizona Diamondbacks announced in November 2014 that J.J. Putz, whom the club released several months prior, returned to the organization as a special assistant to president and CEO Derrick Hall. Putz is expected to work with the club’s pitchers in spring training and then visit its minor league affiliates throughout the season. He stated in an interview with SI.com that family was one reason he decided to retire, because, although his physical ability had diminished, he felt that he was a mechanical fix away from turning things around. He also related that he has a degree in sports management and communications and that he’d iterated to Hall on multiple occasions a desire to work in a front office when his playing days were finished. His days as a fantasy commodity were likely over, anyway. (Nicholas Minnix)
The Quick Opinion:
Putz has retired and taken a position with the Snakes’ front office. He surely would have been off the fantasy radar anyway.
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Updated: Thursday, March 30, 2017 3:38 AM ET
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