Saturday, June 4, 2011

Putz a positive influence on young Paterson

By Anthony Fenech / | 06/04/11

PHOENIX -- J.J. Putz took left-handed reliever Joe Paterson under his wing early in Spring Training.

"He adopted him right away," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "I think it's been huge."

Paterson pitched the ninth inning of Friday night's 4-0 win over the Nationals, striking out one and lowering his ERA to 0.66 on the season.

"Last night was a big inning he threw," Gibson said. "A lot of guys were hanging, and at the same time, it helped me develop him for some future situations. He got some pretty good righties out there."

Paterson is in his first big league season and Gibson said he couldn't measure the impact that Putz has had on the youngster.

"J.J. made him feel comfortable," Gibson said. "You could see it in his eyes early. He was a Rule 5 guy, he knows the deal, and he was trying to impress people.

"J.J. was right there for him and he walked him through it."

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