Leandre: People Should Talk About Zach Putnum More

Leandre: People Should Talk About Zach Putnum More

by December 22, 2018 0 comments

On Tuesday, the Boston Red Sox made a couple of minor league moves that had people scratching their hands, signing both Erasmo Ramirez and Zach Putnam.

While Ramirez has been the one causing most of the questions– 6.50 ERA in 10 starts last year– Putnam has flown a little bit under the radar. Despite have Tommy John surgery in May of 2017, he’s had a very solid career since shifting from the NL to the AL.

The ex-White Sox reliever posted seasons with ERAs of 1.98 and 2.30 in 2014 and 2016 respectively. He’s been riddled with injuries over the years, most recently the Tommy John surgery, but he has been consistently putting up better than league average numbers.

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Zach Putnam’s Statcast pitching since the 2015 season — league average is at the bottom (via Baseball Savant).

The outlier season for Putnam is 2016, but he was still able to find success in his command to avoid getting hit around.

The Red Sox just lost Joe Kelly, and are potentially losing the services of Craig Kimbrel. The Red Sox are also in luxury tax trouble, and along with the signing of Nathan Eovaldi, and the result are contracts for guys like Erasmo Ramirez and Zach Putnam; minor league deals, with invites to spring training.

Putnam doesn’t have the electric fastball like Joe Kelly, but the 31-year-old out of Michigan has a very effective sinker that has only gotten better over the years that can offset the eight miles per hour Kelly has over him.

The Tommy John surgery is a huge turn-off for Red Sox fans, but the fact this guy didn’t get a major league offer from someone should come as a bit of a surprise. Even his former team the White Sox could’ve used his services. He’s not a sexy name like a Craig Kimbrel or even a Joe Kelly, but it wouldn’t be surprising if Putnam is able to out-pitch the latter of the two in 2019.

Depth guys are always the guys who seem to help a ton down the stretch for a contending team, and you could go as recent as the likes of Ryan Brasier, Ryan Madson, Jeremy Jeffress, etc. who were all instrumental pieces on playoff teams.

Not that Putnam will even make the Opening Day roster, but the guy has had plenty of success at the MLB level to garner a much more positive response from the Red Sox faithful than the Conor McGregor gifs, and outlandish responses because Zach Putnam isn’t Adam Ottavino or David Robertson.

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