39-Year-Old Pitcher – Free Agent
2017 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for J.J. Putz in 2017. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
J.J. Putz Contract Information:
Released by the Diamondbacks in June of 2014.
Putz has been named special assistant to Diamondbacks president and CEO Derrick Hall, MLB.com reports.
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J.J. Putz Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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J.J. Putz: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for J.J. Putz.
It's hard to look at Putz's 2013 numbers and believe he had such a good season. Six of his nine earned runs came in March and April, and he was hurt soon after, allowing Brad Ziegler to eventually take over the closer role. His 1.1 HR/9 rate was a major career outlier and led to most of his problems. Still, at the end of the season, his ERA was 2.36, well below his career average. The ninth-inning gig is unsettled for the D-Backs, but Putz should be at or near the front of the line to secure the role coming out of spring training.
After scuffling in April, Putz turned things around and delivered peripherals in line with his 2011 numbers (1.8 BB/9, 0.7 HR/9) while increasing his strikeout rate (10.8 K/9). Beyond 2013, David Hernandez or Heath Bell figure to be the favorites to handle the ninth-inning for Arizona, but the job should belong to Putz again after the D-Backs picked up his $6.5 million option for 2013 in October. Although he finished with 32 saves this season, Putz's expected job security and strong ratios should make him one of the league's better closers again, with the number of viable alternatives available helping to ease his workload and minimize situations where he will be used on three consecutive days.
Despite losing a tick on his fastball, Putz turned in his lowest walk rate (1.86 BB/9IP) since 2007 and showed flashes of being the dominant closer he was with the Mariners in 2006 and 2007. Perhaps the only concern here is that he battled elbow tendinitis and missed most of July, his third DL stint in four years with elbow woes, but the remedy could be as simple as holding him back from multiple save opportunities on consecutive days. The D-Backs have him under contract for $4.5 million in 2012 and have the option of keeping him for $6.5 million in 2013 if he's able to repeat his success from Year 1 in the desert. With his strikeout-per-inning potential and stable ratios in each of the last two seasons, Putz should be considered a top-10 closer on draft day.
Putz made it through last season relatively injury-free, which is something he couldn't do during his time with the Mets. He even served a brief stint as the White Sox's closer, picking up three saves. Putz ratcheted his strikeout rate back above 10.0 per nine innings, and he only walked 15 in 54 frames. The Diamondbacks signed him to be their closer, and his 2010 season shows no evidence that he should falter in 2011. Keep in mind that he was one of the league's elite closers during his time with the Mariners, and that skill set is still here if he's able to remain healthy.
Putz, one of Mets' key 2008 offseason acquisition to restore a faltering bullpen, struggled nearly from the get-go before being shut down with bone spurs in his elbow. Putz had a similar issue in Seattle but was told he could pitch through it, but it reared up during the season. Putz had June surgery, then during his rehab had to be shut down due to some new fraying and a slight tear in his right forearm. The Mets did not exercise their $8.6 million club option for 2010, instead paying Putz a $1 million buyout, and he subsequently signed with the White Sox.
A year after being the best closer in baseball, Putz's 2008 was a big waste. Putz came back too early from an April ribcage injury, overcompensating and putting additional strain on his arm, which led to an elbow injury and another DL stint. He returned healthy in late July, and his 27 appearances thereafter basically acted as early spring training for this season. He allowed 38 baserunners in 27.1 innings (notching eight saves and blowing five), but started rounding into form in his final 13 games with 11 scoreless appearances, including eight perfect outings (17 strikeouts, two walks). The Mets traded for Putz in the offseason to set-up Francisco Rodriguez, costing Putz much of his fantasy value. The closer role for the Mariners will be open for competition in spring training.
Putz was the best closer in baseball last season. He led all relievers (min. 25 IP) with a 1.38 ERA and a .202 OBP, and with just two blown saves, his 95.2 save percentage was tops as well. In save opportunities, Putz struck out 48 and allowed 21 hits, 11 walks and seven runs in 46.1 innings for a 0.691 WHIP and a 1.36 ERA. Outside of his two blown saves, he allowed just three runs in his 40 saved games. On a better team Putz would have had more than 40 saves, too. His first save opportunity didn't come until April 23, and he ended the year with just three save chances after Aug. 24. A more reliable bridge to the ninth inning would save Putz from having to work as many eighth innings, but he handled the extra work well.
Putz had a breakout year in 2006, taking over the closer job from Eddie Guardado in mid-May and finishing the season with an 8:1 K:BB. He was at his best as the closer. In 40 save situations as the full-time closer, Putz allowed just 26 hits, six unintentional walks and eight earned runs (1.69 ERA) in 43.2 innings with 55 strikeouts (9:1 K/BB) and 34 saves. He went through one 33-inning stretch in which he struck out 41 and walked just one. Putz switched from a four-seam to a two-seam fastball (less velocity, more movement) last spring, but still routinely hit 95-97 mph, and he added a curve to his repertoire, which also includes a sharp slider. Putz is entrenched as the closer.
Putz was inconsistent for most of 2005, but finished the season allowing only three runs in his last 16 appearances. He has a 97-mph fastball and last season worked on slowing down his slider to make his fastball look even faster. Putz will battle Rafael Soriano for the righty set-up role, but likely will pitch middle relief.
After being called up in late April last season, Putz was handed the closing job in August when Eddie Guardado went down with a shoulder injury. He has the stuff to close, including a 97-mph fastball and a breaking ball, and pitched much better as a closer than in other relief roles: in 17 games as the closer, he was 9-for-9 in save chances and allowed four runs in 15.1 IP for a 2.35 ERA with 11 strikeouts and one walk. If Guardado's elbow doesn't hold up, Putz could close again. Otherwise, he will be the right-handed set-up man.
Putz is one of handful of rookie candidates for the M's bullpen this year. He and Aaron Looper were September call-ups last season, but saw only limited action (2 ER in 3.2 IP). He posted a 2.51 ERA and 11 saves in 41 appearances at Triple-A Tacoma last season. Even if he makes the squad, he is targeted for middle relief duty.
Putz will be at Triple-A during the 2003 season.