As one of the elder statesman of the Arizona Diamondbacks, 35-year-old closer J.J. Putz has never shied away from taking young pitchers under his wing.
Putz told Arizona Sports 620’s Burns & Gambo Monday that he did just that for former D-backs pitcher Trevor Bauer last season, but he wasn’t sure his pearls of wisdom always clicked with the 22-year-old phenom.
“I spent a lot of time with Trevor back in spring training and then when he came up,” said Putz. “The one thing I just couldn’t wrap my head around was you have this catcher (in Miguel Montero) who is very successful back there. He catches every day. Why would you not want to lean on him and try to figure out what he’s thinking you should do?
“And, he was totally against it. He had his mindset on one thing and wasn’t going to change it. That goes back to just being stubborn.”
While Bauer was shipped to Cleveland back in December in a three-team trade that netted the D-backs shortstop Didi Gregorius and reliever Tony Sipp, the former No. 3 overall pick has remained a hot topic this spring following recent comments by both Montero and pitcher Ian Kennedy.
Putz believes the disconnect between Bauer and his Arizona teammates had more to do with age and inexperience than anything else.
“He was just so raw,” said Putz. “He didn’t really know and probably still doesn’t know who he is yet. He’s still learning and is a young kid.”