With Putz out for the next 10 weeks at least it should give us a break from his commentary.Â First it was the fact that he was struggling because he could not get up for the 8th inning.Â Now it’s that he was injured and could not pitch pain free.Â Look, I wish no pain on anyone but if he was injured all year then why not say that in the beginning?Â Now that he is scheduled for surgery tomorrow he has this to say:
“I don’t think it’s become the ninth inning for me,” Putz told WFAN’s Ed Randall. “A lot of that has to do with not being able to use my best stuff. When I get back from this elbow and I am 100 percent then I think we will have a better gague on if the eighth inning is my new ninth.”
Putz also said that best case he will return in 10 weeks which would schedule the return no earlier than August 18th.Â
Speaking of pitching through pain Putz said: ”
“You just feel helpless,” Putz said. “You are doing everything you can to get outs with very-below-average stuff. It’s frustrating, but at the same time I have a job to do and my job is to pitch. I did everything I could to go out there and pitch.Â Mentally, it’s a train wreck. You have the reputation of kind of being an animal out there — a very aggressive pitcher — when you can’t reach back and know it’s going to be pain free, it’s very difficult to pitch that way.”
Now back to the 8th inning issue again.Â While speaking about his 9 million dollar option for next year Putz said: “That’s not up to me, they have the option, but I love playing for this team,” Putz said. “I am not disappointed about being the eighth-inning guy. This is a great ballclub to be on. It’s a great group of guys and they are all committed to winning, so I am grateful to be part of a winning team, but it’s really hard to explain that there’s really nothing like the ninth. I got two chances to save when Frankie needed a day and you definitely miss that feeling.”
Now back to the injury: “”Whenever I let myself get out there and extend it felt like a little ice pick in my elbow every time I got out there and finished the pitch,” Putz said. “What ended up happening was I changed my mechanics so much to throw without pain and that’s what led to the drop in velocity.Â I just really couldn’t do it anymore. It wasn’t fair to myself, to the team, to Jerry (Manuel). The starting pitchers go out there and give you everything they got and I go in there with 70 percent of what I can do. It ended up being too much.”
Wow that’s a lot to take inÂ JJ.Â So your arm has been hurting all season and that is why you could not pitch effectively.Â Yet, when ask about it earlier in the season you blamed it on the 8th inning role.Â It was not until you were demoted to the 7th inning role that you decided to shut it down.Â Let me ask you this Putz, if you were the current closer on the Mets would you still be pitching?Â Would the adrenaline in the 9th inning force you to ignore the pain and pitch like the lights out closer you were?
My biggest concern for the Putz situation is not that he will come back and be effective, he most likely will be at least adequate once he comes back in late August.Â However, the Mets did give up a lot for Putz andÂ have nowÂ lost him for a significant part of the season.Â The most significant day that he will miss is July 31st.Â The Mets will no longer be able to trade Putz and picking up his 9 million dollar option for next year at this point seems a stretch.Â Even offering him arbitration and taking the draft picks is pushing it.Â Putz because of two injury plagued seasons will be in danger of not obtaining type A status.Â It’s also possible, depending on how he recovers, that he could take the arbitration offer and stand to make around 6 million for the 2010 season.Â Thus, if the Mets are not able to trade Putz and do not pick up the option or offer him arbitration then they will have gotten 3 1/2 months of Putz for 7 players.Â The once praised trade, even by me, seems like it could turn into a pumpkin anytime now.