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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Putz to DL

Putz doesn't blow saves, so something must have been up when he lost the second game of the season for the Seattle Mariners, right? I guess so, because J.J. Putz has been placed on the 15-day disabled list today. Putz apparently felt some discomfort on his right side while pitching to Michael Young. The next batter was Josh Hamilton, who hit a go-ahead homer off of Putz on an uncharacteristically mis-located fastball.

A precautionary MRI found Putz to have a mild case of costochondritis, "an inflammation of the junctions where the upper ribs join with the cartilage that holds them to the breastbone or sternum," according to eMedicine.com.

No news yet on how long J.J. will be out. Roy Corcoran has been called up from AAA Tacoma to fill the roster spot. Corcoran has had success in a long minor league career, but has yet to receive an extended look in the major leagues.

There has been no announcement as to who will fill in for Putz during his absence, but Mark Lowe seems the logical choice. I've heard Lowe called Putz's successor, and would probably have to agree. He appears to have the stuff and the mentality for the job. If Lowe excels it could make for some interesting conversation when Putz returns. Putz has been helping Lowe out the way Eddie Guardado did during his stint in Seattle. When Guardado went down with an injury, Putz stepped in and took the job.

Just remember, closers don't typically stay put for very long. There is often a much cheaper option laying around your bullpen that can get the job done. Putz was once in that situation and forced a trade of Guardado. Jon Rauch of the Washington Nationals is probably about to push Chad Cordero out of his role now that he's down with an injury. Jeremy Accardo of the Toronto Blue Jays is also in a similar situation, and has done a fantastic job as closer while B.J. Ryan has been hurt. They'll give Ryan a shot when he's healthy, but if he can't get it done as effectively as Accardo he'll quickly become trade bait. All of these guys mentioned above were once top notch closers.

I'm not saying Putz is done as a Mariner. Seattle will give him every single opportunity to get back to his dominating self. He is a fan favorite and a face of the franchise. All I'm saying is to keep this tucked into the back of your minds so that you're not crushed if Putz cannot quickly return to form.

I hope for a quick recovery and return to form. I hope that Thunderstruck comes blaring over Safeco Field's public address system another 100 times. Fingers crossed, he should be fine.

UPDATE 5:07 pm PST: Lookout Landing and MLB Rumors are speculating that this injury could take a month or two or more to heal.

UPDATE 7:02 pm PST: As Rob mentioned below, the injury isn't too bad. The doctor didn't give a timetable, but Bill Krueger of the Seattle Mariners pregame show said he came back from a similar injury in 10 days back when he was pitching.

UPDATE 7:50 pm PST: Almost forgot to add this, but Seattle will be going with the "bullpen by committee" approach. Can't say I'm a fan of the decision, but hopefully it's not a long-term thing.

2 comments:

topher said...

Wow jon, pretty ballsy. But something to definitely think about.

Rob T. said...

Geoff Baker has an update. The doctor said it ended up being the best case scenario and its a very mild case. He wouldnt say how long he's out for but said they are optimistic.