Thursday, June 2, 2011

Putz named Major's top reliever for May

PHOENIX -- On the field, D-backs closer J.J Putz has recorded 16 saves with a 1.88 ERA.

Off the field, he has been every bit the stabilizing leader at the back end of the bullpen that the team envisioned when signed him in the offseason.

"He's been more than we probably could have imagined he'd be," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He's had a good month and we look forward to many more good months."

On Thursday, Putz was named the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Month for May.

"It's a great honor," Putz said. "There were a lot of guys deserving of it, but I wouldn't have been in those opportunities had the starting pitching not pitched the way it has the last month.

"And the guys in front of me in the bullpen, holding those leads until I can get in there and try to do my job," he continued, "And the guys behind me, they all deserve a little piece of this."

In May, Putz converted all 11 of his save opportunities and allowed just one unearned run on five hits in 13 innings, walking four and striking out 10.

He also won the award in June 2007 as a member of the Mariners.

"He earned it obviously," Gibson said. "He was real effective for us and we were able to have the good fortune to pick him up, but beyond what he's done on the field, I've spoke several times to what he's done off the field and what he means to not only the bullpen or pitching staff but the whole team."

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