Putkonen with the Detroit Tigers
|Born: May 10, 1986|
|April 29, 2012, for the Detroit Tigers|
|Last MLB appearance|
|April 18, 2014, for the Detroit Tigers|
|Earned run average||4.66|
Luke Webber Putkonen (born May 10, 1986) is an American former professional baseball pitcher. He previously played for the Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball (MLB). Prior to playing professionally, Putkonen played college baseball for the North Carolina Tar Heels.
High school and college
Putkonen attended Walton High School in Marietta, Georgia. He then enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he played college baseball for the North Carolina Tar Heels baseball team.
Putkonen made his Major League debut on April 29, 2012, in a relief appearance against the New York Yankees. On May 25, Putkonen was optioned back to Triple-A to make room for Luis Marte, who was activated off the 15-day DL. Putkonen was 0–2 with an 8.59 ERA in 71⁄3 innings in six games.
Putkonen was ejected for the first time in his MLB career on July 11, 2013, after throwing a first-pitch sinker high and inside to Chicago White Sox batter Alexei Ramírez immediately following a Josh Phegley grand slam. Putkonen was optioned to Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens on July 31, and later recalled back to the Major League on August 28. Putkonen finished the 2013 season 1–3 with a 3.03 ERA in 30 relief appearances.
On June 13, 2014, Putkonen underwent surgery to shave down a bone spur on his right elbow, and it was announced he would be out for at least 6-8 weeks. On August 28, it was announced Putkonen would begin a minor league rehab assignment with the Class A West Michigan Whitecaps. He was designated for assignment by the Tigers on January 6, 2015, and outrighted to the Toledo Mud Hens on January 15, 2015. Putkonen was released by the Tigers on March 28, 2015. In four appearances during spring training he posted a 7.36 ERA in 31⁄3 innings, giving up three runs, four hits and three walks. On April 23, 2015, the Tigers re-signed Putkonen to a minor league contract. Putkonen was released by the Tigers on June 4, 2015. Prior to being released, Putkonen was 0–0 with a 32.40 ERA in 12⁄3 innings, allowing six hits and six earned runs in two games.
Putkonen throws four pitches. He has a four-seam fastball and two-seam fastball at 92–95 mph with good tailing action, a changeup in the mid 80s, and a good curveball in the upper 70s. His four-seamer and curveball are used against right-handers, and his two-seamer and changeup are used against left-handers.
- Fenech, Anthony (April 26, 2012). "Tigers call up Luke Putkonen, demote Thad Weber". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved May 16, 2014.
- Rumberg, Howie (April 29, 2012). "Sabathia pitches 8 strong for Yankees". Associated Press. Retrieved April 30, 2012.
- Schmehl, James (May 24, 2012). "Right-hander Luis Marte rejoins Detroit Tigers, Luke Putkonen optioned to Triple-A Toledo". MLive.
- "MLB Ejection 091, 092: C Fairchild (3, 4; Putkonen, Leyland". July 11, 2013.
- Iott, Chris. "Detroit Tigers send Jose Alvarez to Triple-A Toledo, recall right-hander Luke Putkonen". MLive.
- Beck, Jason (June 14, 2014). "Putkonen out two more months after Friday's surgery". MLB. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
- Beck, Jason (August 28, 2014). "Putkonen begins Class A rehab assignment". MLB. Retrieved August 28, 2014.
- Beck, Jason (January 6, 2015). "Tigers ink Gorzelanny to one-year deal to boost 'pen". MLB.com. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
- Beck, Jason (January 15, 2015). "Tigers outright reliever Putkonen to Triple-A". MLB.com. Retrieved January 15, 2015.
- Schmehl, James (March 28, 2015). "Detroit Tigers release struggling reliever Luke Putkonen". MLive. Retrieved March 28, 2015.
- Schmehl, James (April 23, 2015). "Detroit Tigers bring back right-handed reliever Luke Putkonen on a minor league deal". MLive. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
- Schmehl, James (June 4, 2015). "Inside the minors: Detroit Tigers release Luke Putkonen; Drew VerHagen rejoins Toledo Mud Hens". MLive. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "PITCHf/x Player Card: Luke Putkonen". BrooksBaseball.net. Retrieved April 29, 2012.