All is not rosy for J.J. Putz with the Mets. On Sunday, he was pulled from a game in the middle of an inning for the first time. Putz came in with a three-run lead in the eighth but got just one out before being yanked by Mets manager Jerry Manuel. Putz was charged with two runs, and threw just seven strikes out of his 17 pitches. Putz left the ballpark without talking to the media.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post, an influential baseball columnist, laid into Putz in his blog:
J.J. Putz knows the season has begun, right? At this point should we assume that he is hurt and either the righty or the Mets are not telling us much about it? Both in 2006 and 2007 he walked exactly 13 in more than 70 innings, and he already has 17 in 28 innings this year. There is just not much electricity in either his fastball or split. He has kept his hit totals down and the ball in the park. However, this is clearly not the guy the Mets believed they were getting, a guy the Mets assumed would dominate in the eighth inning in front of Francisco Rodriguez.
To be fair, Putz has had some injury issues this season. Two weeks ago, he was diagnosed with inflammation in the back of his pitching elbow that caused a bone spur. After taking a cortisone shot, he kept pitching. There is already speculation in New York that Putz could lose his eight-inning job to Bobby Parnell
Putz, in 27 games, has pitched 28 1/3 innings, allowing 22 hits and 18 walks while striking out 19. He has a 1-3 record, two saves and a 3.81 ERA. His WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) is 1.41, compared to a career mark of 1.18. In his heyday, Putz had a 0.919 WHIP in 2006 and 0.698 in 2007. You have to wonder if he’ll ever be that pitcher again.