- Avg ranking (high/low/most common): 25.76 (7/44/30)
- Seasons: 2003-2014
- Stats: 572 games, 566.2 IP, 3.08 ERA, 138 ERA+, 13.2 bWAR
- Best season: 2007 – 68 Games, 71.2 IP, 1.38 ERA, 319 ERA+, 4.0 bWAR(40 saves)
What was his nickname? J.J.Putz had a different nickname for each season of his career, ranging from “John Jacob Jingleheimer Putz” to a simple “JJ.” His trademark is a little tuft of hair below his lower lip.
He was a closer. He had more pitches than most closers. His frequent pitches were 4-seam fastball, sinker, and split (Brooks Baseball).
Less frequent pitches were his slider and curve. In addition, he threw 2-seam fastballs and cutters to lefties (Wikipedia).
JJ Putz ranks second among all-time D-back relievers. Using Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) as a measure, JJ Putz pitched better (2.85 FIP) for the D-backs than any other reliever before Archie Bradley (2.61 FIP). Based on three measures (FIP to represent pure pitching skill, RE-24 to represent relief situation skill, and SD/MD to represent consistency), JJ Putz ranks second among all D-back relievers (see chart). And JJ Putz ranks second for most career saves (83) for the D-backs.
His best season as a D-back was 2011.
Closer Putz and setup man David Hernandez locked down wins for the D-backs. “[They were] ...one of the best 1-2 bullpen combinations in all of baseball not named Craig Kimbrel and Jonny Venters.” —James Attwood.
“He was a huge, huge part of why the team was able to go 84-0 - let me repeat that, 84-0!! - when leading after eight innings in 2011, on its way to winning [eight games ahead of the Giants] the National League West for the last time to date. In save situations that season, J.J. held batters to a line of .184/.236/.288, struck out 49 in 46 innings and had a 1.57 ERA.” —Jim McLennan.
His best career season was 2007.
Looking at metrics for whole seasons, 2007 was his best season. Let’s look at some of his metrics for 2007.
JJ Putz, His Best Career Season
|Metric||JJ Putz 2007|
|Metric||JJ Putz 2007|
|goose-egg conversion||96.5% (28/29)|
|strikeouts per 9 innings||10.3|
|homers per 9 innings||0.8|
Memorable moments in 2007.
JJ Putz had 30 consecutive saves. He exceeded Mariner Eddie Guardado’s consecutive saves.
JJ Putz earned a hold in the All-Star game.
On July 28, 2007 JJ Putz threw a pitch measured at 101.6 mph to Nick Swisher in the ninth inning.
JJ Putz was a leader through his entire career. In June of 2014, the D-backs released JJ Putz. His departure was felt by players and fans.
#Dbacks Brad Ziegler said the bullpen lost it's leader in JJ Putz.— Steve Gilbert (@SteveGilbertMLB) June 20, 2014
Helping me get through last year. I've met a lot of guys through the years and he has to be in the top 3 of best teammates and person.— David Hernandez (@DHern_30) June 20, 2014
“... his presence off the field was as much a positive as any performance on it. He was the captain of the bullpen, and while the term “veteran presence” is much-derided, this is one case where it seems to have been a genuine plus, mentoring younger pitchers, etc. “ — Jim McLennan.
He will always be known as Mr. Baseball.
Where is he now?
On November 6, 2014, JJ Putz rejoined the Diamondbacks as a Special Assistant to CEO Derrick Hall. Putz’s role included appearances on behalf of the D-backs, interacting with corporate sponsors and fans, and assisting in the baseball operations department.
Based on his tweets, he spends most of his time in Arizona and visits Michigan.