J. J. Putz
Putz with the Arizona Diamondbacks
Born: (1977-02-22) February 22, 1977 (age 47)
Trenton, Michigan, U.S.
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
MLB debut
August 11, 2003, for the Seattle Mariners
Last MLB appearance
June 19, 2014, for the Arizona Diamondbacks
MLB statistics
Win–loss record37–33
Earned run average3.08
Career highlights and awards
Putz with the Seattle Mariners in 2007.

Joseph Jason Putz (/ˈpʊts/; born February 22, 1977) is an American former professional baseball relief pitcher. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Seattle Mariners, New York Mets, Chicago White Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks.

High school and college

Born in Trenton, Michigan, Putz led Trenton High School to the 1994 Class B state championship. He graduated in 1995 and won the Mr. Baseball award for the state of Michigan. Putz attended the University of Michigan, and played collegiate summer baseball in the Cape Cod Baseball League for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox in 1997 and the Hyannis Mets in 1998.[1]

Professional career

Seattle Mariners

Putz was drafted by the Mariners in the 6th round in 1999. He made his Major League debut with the Mariners on August 11, 2003. In 2006, he became the closer for the Mariners.

All through the minors, Putz had been able to throw an excellent fastball that topped out at 97 miles per hour, but had been only marginally successful because his only other pitch was a below average slider. His first few years in the majors were not terrible, but they were also nothing special. In spring training before the 2006 season, Eddie Guardado, who had been the Mariners' closer since 2004, taught him to throw a splitter. After mastering the new secondary pitch, Putz abandoned his slider and became a much improved pitcher.

A few weeks into the 2006 season, Putz took over the closing job from the aging Guardado. He converted 36 of 43 save opportunities while posting a 2.30 ERA and striking out 104 in 78.1 innings of work.

In 2007, Putz continued to improve his game. He made his first All-Star appearance, where he was given a save opportunity. He converted 40 saves in 42 save opportunities with a 1.38 ERA, 0.698 WHIP, 82 strikeouts and 13 walks in 71+23 innings. On July 6, 2007, he was named the June 2007 winner of the "DHL Presents the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Month Award", recognizing the top relief pitcher for the month and on September 25, 2007, Putz was named as one of 10 finalists for the "DHL Presents the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Year Award." On July 14, 2007, Putz broke Eddie Guardado's Mariners' consecutive saves record. The streak ended at 30 consecutive saves. In 2007, he also became the first Mariner ever to win the Rolaids Relief Man of the Year Award.

New York Mets

On December 10, 2008, Putz was part of a three-team, twelve-player trade that sent him to the New York Mets in exchange for pitcher Aaron Heilman, utility outfielder Endy Chávez, and prospects. He made his Mets debut on April 6, 2009 against the Cincinnati Reds, pitching a hitless inning.[2] After a disappointing 2009 season, on November 6, the Mets declined to exercise Putz's 2010 team option, thus making him a free agent.[3]

Chicago White Sox

On December 11, 2009, Putz signed a one-year contract with the Chicago White Sox worth $3 million.[4] On July 20, 2010, Putz set a Chicago White Sox franchise record by pitching 25 consecutive scoreless outings.

Arizona Diamondbacks

On December 7, 2010, the Arizona Diamondbacks agreed to sign Putz to a 2-year, $10 million deal with a $6.5 million club option for 2013. He earned $4 million in 2011, $4.5 million in 2012, and his option had a $1.5 million buyout.[5][6]

On October 20, 2012, the Diamondbacks exercised his $6.5 million option.[7] On June 20, 2014, Putz was designated for assignment.[8] He was released on June 27.[9][10] Putz rejoined the Diamondbacks as a special assistant to club president Derrick Hall in November.[11]

Pitching style

Putz threw a mix of five pitches. He led with four-seam and two-seam fastballs (the latter to lefties, mainly) that were once in the upper 90s, but had settled in the 90–94 mph range. His main off-speed pitch was a splitter in the mid 80s. He also threw a handful of cutters and sliders, primarily to right-handed hitters.[12]

Personal life

Putz was first nicknamed "The Big Guy", by Seattle Mariners broadcaster Dave Niehaus.[13] Putz shared a dorm with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady while at the University of Michigan.[14] He married Kelsey Kollen-Putz in 2002,[14] with whom he has four children; twin daughters Lauren and Kaelyn, son Ethan,[15] and daughter Addison.

See also


  1. ^ "Major League Baseball Players From the Cape Cod League" (PDF). capecodbaseball.org. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  2. ^ "Mets acquire All-Star reliever J. J. Putz in three-team deal". Newyork.mets.mlb.com. Retrieved October 6, 2011.
  3. ^ "Mets decline 2010 option on reliever J. J. Putz". USA Today. November 6, 2009. Retrieved October 6, 2011.
  4. ^ Levine, Bruce (December 11, 2009). "White Sox sign former closer Putz". ESPN. Retrieved December 11, 2009.
  5. ^ Gilbert, Steve (December 7, 2010). "Finalized Putz pact a big step in repairing 'pen". MLB.com. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
  6. ^ "Diamondbacks sign J. J. Putz". ESPN.com. December 8, 2010. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
  7. ^ Piecoro, Nick (October 20, 2012). "Arizona Diamondbacks exercise 2013 option on closer J. J. Putz". Arizona Republic. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
  8. ^ "D-backs Designate J. J. Putz for Assignment and Reinstate Ender Inciarte". MLB.com. June 20, 2014. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
  9. ^ "D-backs DFA reliever J. J. Putz". ESPN.com. Associated Press. June 20, 2014. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
  10. ^ Gilbert, Steve (June 28, 2014). "D-backs release former closer Putz". MLB.com. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
  11. ^ "J. J. Putz rejoins Diamondbacks as executive". ESPN.com. Associated Press. November 6, 2014. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
  12. ^ "Brooks Baseball · Home of the PitchFX Tool – Player Card: J. J. Putz". Brooks Baseball. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
  13. ^ Arnold, Kirby (November 10, 2010). "Dave Niehaus, voice of the Mariners, dies at age 75". Everett Herald. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
  14. ^ a b Cyphers, Luke (August 29, 2007). "Intimidating, deliberate Putz makes hitters sweat". ESPN.com. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
  15. ^ Serby, Steve (April 12, 2009). "SERBY'S SUNDAY Q & A WITH… J. J. PUTZ". New York Post. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
Preceded byDan Haren American League Pitcher of the month June 2007 Succeeded byÉrik Bédard