J.J. Putz signed on to be the Diamondbacks’ closer with a two-year, $10 million deal this offseason, but the veteran right-hander won’t make his spring training debut until March 7 despite nothing being wrong with him physically.
Arizona manager Kirk Gibson explained to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com that Putz will focus on building up his arm strength with bullpen sessions and long toss while likely only logging a total of around eight innings of actual game action. “Different people like to do it different ways,” Gibson said.
Putz threw 8.1 innings for the White Sox last spring and went on to have a fantastic season in a setup role, posting a 2.83 ERA and 65 strikeouts in 54 innings. If healthy, he’s one of the main reasons why I think the Diamondbacks are very capable of out-performing their low expectations this season.
“A” switch pitcher is probably not the most accurate way to put that. It’s more like “The” switch pitcher, as Pat Venditte of the Mariners is the only one extant.
Last night the right-handed hitting Adrian Beltre had to face Venditte, who obviously chose to pitch righty to the Rangers third baseman. Before coming up to the plate, Beltre jokingly donned his helmet backwards and pretended that he’d hit left-handed:
He needn’t have bothered. Beltre doubled to left field off of Venditte, showing that at some point, platoon splits really don’t matter.
Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association announced this morning that they are contributing $250,000 to assist victims of the devastating floods that recently hit Louisiana.
The $250,000 contribution is being divided among three charitable organizations: The American Red Cross will receive a $125,000 contribution and two charities connected to Major League Players – the Baton Rouge Area Foundation and High Socks for Hope – will each receive a $62,500 contribution.
According to the joint press release, several players with connections to the area, including Reid Brignac, Will Harris, Wade LeBlanc, Mikie Mahtook, Anthony Ranaudo and Ryan Schimpf were consulted in determining which organizations would receive funding support.
Nice move, union and league.