Major-league closers, by nature, tend to have a certain sway about them. The more colorful ones develop a rock-star persona that usually involves some sort of funky ritual, a menacing stare or intimidating pose, a signature pitch and, more often than not, facial hair.
Diamondbacks closer J.J. Putz has all of the above traits. And just like most of baseball’s better relievers, he also has his own introductory theme song that gets blasted throughout the stadium when he makes his way from the bullpen to the pitching mound.
But as he wrapped up his first full week of spring-training workouts at Salt River Fields, Putz couldn’t care less if AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” gets played regularly during home games at Chase Field. Does he want the ball in his hands when the game is on the line? Of course he does.
But he doesn’t have to own the spotlight. The veteran right-hander said Monday he is perfectly content sharing the ninth-inning workload with set-up man David Hernandez, newcomer Heath Bell and anyone else manager Kirk Gibson considers in save situations.
“Don’t get me wrong: I still have an attitude when I’m out there on the field,” said Putz, who turns 36 on Friday. “And there is pride, absolutely.
“But I just want to win. I don’t care how we do it. I just want to win. If I’m taxed a little bit, I have no issues with David getting the ball or Heath getting the ball. I don’t have issues with (Brad) Ziegler getting the ball or any of the three lefties we have, either.”
Arizona Diamondbacks closer J.J. Putz a true team player
Arizona Republic | Feb 19