Each Wednesday timberrattlers.com will countdown the top 20 seasons by a Timber Rattler until #1 is revealed on August 29th. This week: #8
J.J. Putz 2000
12-6, 3.15 ERA, 25 games started, 142.2 innings pitched, 130 hits allowed, 50 earned runs allowed, 63 walks, 105 strikeouts
Joseph Jason Putz was a 3rd round pick in the 1995 draft by the Chicago White Sox but instead decided to attend the University of Michigan. He again was drafted in 1998, this time in the 17th round by the Twins, but chose to stay a Wolverine for one more year. The Mariners signed him shortly after the 1999 draft in which they selected him in the 6th round. He started his professional career in the Everett bullpen, appearing in 10 games and getting 2 saves.
With Wisconsin in 2000, J.J. was put into the starting rotation. On April 29th, Putz threw a 7 inning no-hitter in the first game of a doubleheader against the Kane County Cougars. It was the first no-hitter in Timber Rattler history. He would also throw two complete game shutouts that season, tied for the most in team history. His 12 wins were one short of the team record, held by Melqui Torres at the time. His ERA was the third best up to that point, trailing only Derek Bieniasz's 3.13 in 1995 and teammate Rafael Soriano's 2.87.
Putz would remain a starter for two more seasons, before moving to the bullpen with Tacoma in 2003. J.J. would make his Major League debut on August 11th, 2003, against the Toronto Blue Jays. He relieved former Rattler Joel Pineiro ('98) in the 7th inning and pitched a scoreless inning and two-thirds. The first batter he faced was Menasha product Eric Hinske. Putz's former Rattler teammate Aquilino Lopez recorded the save in the 5-3 Toronto victory. J.J. took over the closers roll from Eddie Guardado during the 2006 season and finished with 36 saves. He has developed into one of the most dominant closers in baseball, earning his first All Star selection this season.
Previously on the countdown:
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