If you’re wondering how J.J. Putz is coming along so far this spring, David Lennon of Newsday has the scoop…
Manager Jerry Manuel never got a chance to watch J.J. Putz on the mound during yesterday’s live batting-practice sessions. Apparently, he didn’t need to.
“I heard about Putz,” Manuel said. “I didn’t see him throw. I heard about it. I heard the mitt way over there. I was on field whatever, and he was way over there. I said, ‘Who was that?’ And they said, ‘Putz.’ I think I was in the stadium when he was sounding off.”
For those closer than Manuel, the pop of the glove was deafening, and the group of outfielders who faced him – Bobby Kielty, Ron Mackowiak, Cory Sullivan and Jeremy Reed – barely touched him.
“This guy is an animal,” bullpen coach Randy Niemann said.
Putz has impressed many players and coaches in camp not only with his heater, but with a wicked splitter that can only be described as “nasty”. He has also come to camp embracing his role as a setup man while making a strong effort to fit in with the rest of the players which has not gone unnoticed by David Wright, Carlos Beltran and Brian Schneider who each had some high praise for him this weekend.
I can’t wait to see these guys take the field on opening day… I really love the makeup of this team… Last spring training it just seemed to be so gloomy, and this year every player seems so driven and determined…. I love it….