J. J. Putz

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J. J. Putz
J. J. Putz 2011.jpg
Putz with the Arizona Diamondbacks
Free agent
Relief pitcher
Born: (1977-02-22) February 22, 1977 (age 37)
Trenton, Michigan
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
August 11, 2003 for the Seattle Mariners
Career statistics
(through April 10, 2014)
Win–loss record 37–32
Earned run average 2.97
Strikeouts 591
Saves 189
Career highlights and awards
Putz with the Seattle Mariners in 2007.

Joseph Jason "J. J." Putz (/ˈpʊts/; born February 22, 1977) is an American professional baseball relief pitcher who is a free agent.

High school[edit]

Born in Trenton, Michigan, Putz led Trenton High School to the 1994 Division 2 state championship. He graduated in 1995 and won the Mr. Baseball award for the state of Michigan.

Professional career[edit]

Seattle Mariners[edit]

Putz attended the University of Michigan, and 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 due to the fact that 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, .698 WHIP, 82 strikeouts and 13 walks in 71.2 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 finalist 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[edit]

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.[1] After a disappointing 2009 season, on November 6, the Mets declined to exercise Putz's 2010 team option, thus making him a free agent.[2]

Chicago White Sox[edit]

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

Arizona Diamondbacks[edit]

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

On October 20, 2012, the Diamondbacks exercised his $6.5MM option.

On June 20, 2014, Putz was designated for assignment. He was released on June 27.[4]

Pitching style[edit]

Putz throws a mix of five pitches. He leads with four-seam and two-seam fastballs (the latter to lefties, mainly) that were once in the upper 90s, but have now settled in the 90–94 mph range. His main off-speed pitch is a splitter in the mid 80s. He also throws a handful of cutters and sliders, primarily to right-handed hitters.[5]


Putz stands 6’5” tall and weighs 250 lb. Affectionately nicknamed "The Big Guy," by Mariners broadcaster Dave Sims. Putz shared a dorm with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady while at the University of Michigan. He currently lives in Peoria, Arizona with his wife, Kelsey; twin daughters Lauren and Kaelyn, born in 2005; son Ethan, born in 2009; and daughter Addison, born in 2011. He stated in an interview with KTVK- Phoenix on April 8, 2011 that has kept a home in Peoria, AZ ever since he began spring training in the Cactus league.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mets acquire All-Star reliever J. J. Putz in three-team deal". Newyork.mets.mlb.com. Retrieved October 6, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Mets decline 2010 option on reliever J.J. Putz". Usatoday.com. November 6, 2009. Retrieved October 6, 2011. 
  3. ^ Levine, Bruce (December 11, 2009). "White Sox sign former closer Putz". ESPN. Retrieved December 11, 2009. 
  4. ^ Adams, Steve (June 27, 2014). "Diamondbacks Release J.J. Putz". mlbtraderumors.com. Retrieved June 27, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Brooks Baseball · Home of the PitchFX Tool - Player Card: J.J. Putz". Brooks Baseball. Retrieved 23 May 2012. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Dan Haren
American League Pitcher of the month
June 2007
Succeeded by
Érik Bédard