Tag:J.J. Putz
Posted on: February 24, 2011 11:34 am
Edited on: February 24, 2011 3:49 pm

Honorary All-Grudzielanek team

Mark Grudzielanek played in 1,802 games over the course of 15 major-league seasons. He appeared in uniform for six different teams, making the NLCS twice -- once with the Cubs and once with the Cardinals. He hit .289 with over 2,000 hits and 946 runs scored. He earned one Gold Glove and made the All-Star team once. He was a good guy who always played hard and was generally liked by teammates. Basically, Grudzielanek had a quality major-league career, but won't be showing up on any all-time lists.

That is, unless you are looking squarely at that stupendous last name.

So, in light of his retirement announcement Wednesday, it only seems fitting to put together an All-Star team of the best names in baseball. We're looking for who will carry the torch on with Grudz's departure, so it's current players only. No real criteria, other than that the name just has to sound interesting or be really hard to spell -- or both. This is completely subjective, so there's definite room for argument.

Without further ado, here is the 25-man roster (we also listed all names we considered).

CATCHER: Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Red Sox. And here's the team captain. There's no better name in baseball. Backup: J.P. Arencibia, Blue Jays. Also considered: Francisco Cervelli, Yankees; Taylor Teagarden, Rangers.

FIRST BASE: Pablo Sandoval, Giants. Bonus points for having an awesome nickname. Backup: Kila Ka'aihue, Royals. Also considered: Justin Smoak, Mariners

SECOND BASE: Chone Figgins, Mariners. Real slim pickings here. Nearly every name for a second basemen is bland or common. We'll go with Figgins because "Chone" is pronounced "Sean" or "Shaun" or "Shawn." Also considered: Robinson Cano, Yankees; Dan Uggla, Braves.

THIRD BASE: Kevin Kouzmanoff, A's. Also considered: Placido Polanco, Phillies.

Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies. Alliteration gets him the nod here. Backup: Yuniesky Betancourt. Also considered: Marco Scutaro, Red Sox; Ryan Theriot, Cardinals.

LEFT FIELD: Scott Podsednik, Blue Jays. Also considered: Chris Coghlan, Marlins; Chris Denorfia, Padres; Ryan Langerhans, Mariners.

CENTER FIELD: Coco Crisp, A's. Another no-brainer. Second easiest pick on here after Saltalamacchia. Backup: Colby Rasmus, Cardinals. Also considered: Nyjer Morgan, Nationals; Rajai Davis, Blue Jays; Cameron Maybin, Padres; Denard Span, Twins; Ryan Spilborghs, Rockies.

RIGHT FIELD: Brennan Boesch, Tigers. Tough call here, but I'm a sucker for the alliteration. Plus, that's just a smooth combo. Props to his parents. Also considered: Jeff Francoeur, Royals; Nate Schierholtz, Giants; Nick Markakis, Orioles.

DESIGNATED HITTER: Milton Bradley, Mariners. Personal feelings aside, this was another obvious one.

STARTING ROTATION: CC Sabathia, Yankees; Max Scherzer, Tigers; Brian Matusz, Orioles; Marc Rzepczynski, Blue Jays; Justin Duchscherer, Orioles. CC gets the nod due to his first name being Carsten. Oh, and for losing the periods to his initials. The other four are pretty obvious with those last names. Grudz is surely proud. Also considered: Bronson Arroyo, Reds; Tim Lincecum, Giants; Madison Bumgarner, Giants; Gio Gonzalez, A's; Tom Gorzelanny, Nationals.

BULLPEN: Octavio Dotel, Blue Jays; Jeff Samardzija, Cubs; Fu-Te Ni, Tigers; Boof Bonser, Mets; Burke Badenhop, Marlins. All pretty obvious great names here, and I especially love "The Hopper," as the Marlins' announcers call Badenhop. Also considered: Brian Duensing, Twins; Joba Chamberlain, Yankees; Jeremy Affeldt, Giants; Jason Isringhausen, Mets.

SETUP: David Aardsma, Mariners. Based mostly on the fact that if you listed every major league player of all-time alphabetically, only Aardsma would come before the great Hank Aaron.

CLOSER: J.J. Putz, Diamondbacks. C'mon. He uses a double initial and his last name looks like an insult (though it's actually pronounced "puts," not "putts," for those in the dark).

MANAGER: Mike Scioscia, Angels. Maybe it's all mental at this point, but spelling that thing correctly still trips me up. Give me Grudzielanek any day. Also considered: Mike Quade, Cubs; Ned Yost, Royals; Manny Acta, Indians.

-- Matt Snyder

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Posted on: December 6, 2010 8:02 pm
Edited on: December 6, 2010 8:49 pm

Monday night Winter Meetings notes

Winter Meetings Day 1 of the Winter Meetings is quieting down as most media are either posting their end-of-day wraps or schmoozing in the lobby.

While many prepare for dinner and drinks, here's the latest...
  • It's a done deal: J.J. Putz has signed to close for the Diamondbacks at two years and $10 million. In one day, GM Kevin Towers has acquired three relievers. Sounds just like him.
  • Twelve -- count 'em, 12 -- have inquired on reliever Taylor Buchholz as the Providence Journal reports. The righty was one of the better relief pitchers in 2008 but has struggled with injuries the last two seasons. Buchholz was shipped from Colorado to Toronto late in 2010 and then to the Red Sox after the season. Boston then non-tendered him and would like to bring him back but the Sox will have quite the competition to work against.
  • Rays GM Andrew Friedman had a busy first day behind the scenes, even if he didn't get anything done. But enough groundwork has been laid, as he "wouldn't be surprised" to swing a trade or two by the end of the Winter Meetings, as the St. Petersburg Times relays. He needs to rebuild a bullpen and complement the offense.
  • Speaking of rebuilding the bullpen, Friedman believes he can convince reliever J.P. Howell to rejoin the Rays on a contract by the end of the week as the Times adds.
  • AOL Fanhouse's Ed Price notes that six to eight teams are interested in reliever D.J. Carrasco, who has been among the most underrated relievers the last two seasons in this humble scribe's opinion. The Mets are one such team interested.
  • Edgar Renteria appears in an Associated Press story out of Columbia and via MLB Trade Rumors , is saying there are "three options" for a 2011 deal. All options are in the NL and one of the teams is the Giants, who are thought to be interested in Renteria as a backup infielder. Renteria has said previously that he would like to end his career playing for the Cardinals or Marlins, so those could be the other clubs in play.
  • Braves GM Frank Wren says some things have caught his attention and he would like to explore these avenues as the meetings evolve. There's no indication what those avenues are, but one such avenue in Lorenzo Cain from the Brewers is probably not happening as Milwaukee is not as interested in moving Cain as the Braves were led to believe, as MLB.com notes.
  • The Reds want Miguel Cairo back and expect things to be wrapped up by the end of the week with a big-league deal as MLB.com reports.
  • The Indians are interested in talking long-term extension with Shin-Soo Choo now that Choo has received his military exemption from South Korea. He is coming off back-to-back 20-20 seasons and is eligible for arbitration for the first time this offseason as MLB.com relays.
  • Cleveland wants to find a defense-first third baseman to help take the pressure off the rotation that is built around groundballers. However, if a deal makes sense for the Indians for a defensively-challenged third baseman (like Edwin Encarnacion), GM Chris Antonetti wouldn't rule out such a move, says MLB.com .
  • The Twins have offered Japanese infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka a three-year deal worth $9 to $10 million. This is on top of the $5 million posting fee to be paid to Nishioka's Japanese team as AOL Fanhouse reports.
  • Doug Melvin refused to comment on Carl Pavano as Adam McCalvy of MLB.com tweets. "I'd rather not get into that," Melvin said. "I'll leave that to the rumors. You don't want to tip your hand." Sounds like Melvin just tipped his hand.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: November 30, 2010 11:55 pm

Francisco, Frasor accept arbitration

Jason Frasor The Rangers' Frank Francisco and the Blue Jays' Jason Frasor have accepted salary arbitration, the Major League Baseball Players Association announced Tuesday night. They were the only two of 27 arbitration-eligible free agents to accept.

Francisco and Frasor are both middle relievers and may have found themselves hamstrung by being Type A free agents and costing a draft pick to sign.

Turning down arbitration were Kevin Gregg, Octavio Dotel, Trevor Hoffman, Kevin Correia, Pedro Feliciano, Aaron Heilman, Brad Hawpe, Felipe Lopez, Scott Downs, Randy Choate, Grant Balfour, J.J. Putz, Carl Crawford, Rafael Soriano, Carl Pavano, Adrian Beltre, Chad Qualls, Cliff Lee, Jayson Werth, Adam Dunn, Jesse Crain, Orlando Hudson, Paul Konerko, Miguel Olivo and Adam LaRoche.

Those 25 players could still re-sign with their previous teams.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: November 23, 2010 7:22 pm

White Sox decline arbitration on Ramirez

Ramirez The White Sox declined the opportunity to offer arbitration to DH Manny Ramirez, as AOL Fanhouse reports.

Ramirez will likely have to take a low base salary wherever he lands this season. It's possible that's back with the White Sox, but Chicago understandably had no interest in risking Ramirez accepting arbitration and getting a lucrative contract -- if not one over $20 million, his salary in 2010.

Agent Scott Boras said earlier that Ramirez will likely have to follow the path of Vladimir Guerrero in proving himself on a one-year deal before he can be expected to make significant coin again.

In other White Sox news, arbitration has been declined on catcher A.J. Pierzynski, as the team looks prepared to turn over the reins at catcher to Tyler Flowers.

Arbitration was offered to first baseman Paul Konerko and reliever J.J. Putz. Konerko has said some curious things about perhaps moving on from Chicago, but that is not expected to happen. He's likely in line for a two- or three-year deal.

Putz is an interesting case. With a 2010 salary of $3.125 million and an excellent season after a year coming off injury, Putz could be in line for a raise to $5 million in arbitration. It's possible no other team will bite at that salary or offer him more years, so Putz may end up accepting arbitration. If that happens, the White Sox would certainly be happy to bring Putz back to the bullpen and could even make him the closer.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: November 21, 2010 8:35 pm

Diamondbacks have interest in Putz

Putz The Diamondbacks have interest in reliever J.J. Putz, as the Chicago Tribune reports.

Putz was one of the best closers in the game for the Mariners before falling to injury and turning in just 29 innings for the Mets after New York acquired him in a trade for the 2009 year.

Putz signed on with the White Sox and reverted back to his closer ways, albeit serving as a setup man. He ended the year with a 2.83 ERA, 65 whiffs and 15 walks in 54 innings.

Now, the 33-year-old seems in prime position to become a closer again, perhaps for Arizona. The Diamondbacks are seeking to rebuild their entire bullpen, which was disastrous in 2010.

Putz has indicated he doesn't necessarily need to close games, so the market for him will be robust. However, one has to think Putz will pay extra attention to those teams that offer him a closer's spot or a chance at one, and that's certainly Arizona. Putz could end up staying in Chicago, especially if the club non-tenders closer Bobby Jenks, who is coming off a down year and expected to receive a raise from $7.5 million.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Posted on: August 28, 2010 5:51 pm
Edited on: August 28, 2010 5:52 pm

Tommy John for White Sox reliever Threets

Erick Threets
Lefty reliever Erick Threets tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his arm during Friday's game and will have to undergo Tommy John ligament replacement surgery, reports the Chicago Tribune. The procedure has a recovery time of 12-18 months.

Threets had arrived back in Chicago on Wednesday, one of the reinforcements when relievers J.J. Putz and Matt Thornton were put on the DL. Threets had just finished rehabbing a case of turf toe. In 12 appearances with the White Sox this season, Threets did not allow an earned run.

"Very, very sad moment," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "He was throwing the ball very well."

Chicago called up Carlos Torres from Triple-A Charlotte to take Threets' roster spot.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: August 25, 2010 2:27 pm

White Sox put Putz, Thornton on DL

Bobby Jenks
Not long ago, everyone was calling for Bobby Jenks to be deposed as White Sox closer. After all, Chicago had options from the right (J.J. Putz) and left (Matt Thornton) sides that were both pitching incredibly well.

How quickly things can change. On Wednesday, both Putz and Thornton were put on the disabled list, and the White Sox are feeling lucky to have Jenks (pictured) around.

Thornton has an elbow problem and Putz, who came out of Tuesday's game after just three pitches, a knee problem. Both have had MRI exams that showed no damage, but both need time and are unavailable. The Chicago bullpen, which also saw Tony Pena throw seven innings in a spot start Saturday, is in dire straits.

Coming up as reinforcements are left-hander Erick Threets, who is coming back from a DL stint due to turf toe, and rookie right-hander Lucas Harrell, whose only major-league appearance was a successful start on July 30.

"I need some guys that can go out there," manager Ozzie Guillen told reporters after Tuesday's game. "I'm not saying we're in trouble, but I think everyone in the bullpen has to pick it up a notch for at least the next seven days ... We'll figure it out."

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: August 22, 2010 1:45 pm

More bad news for White Sox bullpen

Matt Thornton As if J.J. Putz's third blown save in a week on Saturday wasn't bad enough news for the beleaguered White Sox bullpen, All-Star reliever Matt Thornton is worried his forearm injury could be worse than expected.

"Throwing? It's not good," Thornton told the Chicago Sun-Times ' Joe Cowley . "Kind of something I'v been battling -- not battling -- but normal soreness that I can usually fight through, pitch through, get through and warm-up through. Usually I could warm-up and I would be fine. Now warming up has turned into some pretty good soreness. I've got to take a step back, and the hope is that at the start of this next home series [on Tuesday], I'll be ready to go by that series or the weekend. I don't know. Kind of got to wait and see."

Thornton last pitched on Tuesday, giving up Jim Thome's game-winning, two-run homer. Thornton has appeared in 50 games this season. He has a 2.66 ERA and five saves, while lefties are hitting just .169 against him this season.

With Thornton out of action, rookie Chris Sale is the only lefty available out of the bullpen for Ozzie Guillen. That's a tricky situation in a pennant race. Sale was drafted in June as a starter and has exclusively pitched in relief as a pro to help reduce his innings.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com