SNY’s Ted Berg and I just had an entire discussion about J.J. Putz that sounded exactly like the discussion he and I had last season about John Maine, who, at the time, was pitching with a bone spur, just like Putz is now.
Let’s assume Putz’s problems stem from the bone spur in his elbow, which he received an anti-inflammatory shot for last week…
Typically with a bone spur, be it the elbow, shoulder, wherever, the pitcher will not make it worse by throwing.
In the end, it’s a matter of pain and effectiveness.
If Putz is effective, my bet is he will take the ball until he can’t.
However, if he’s totally ineffective, whether in pain or not, the Mets will have little choice but to shut him down – just like they did with Maine, who then went on to have season-ending surgery.
Yesterday, just like with Maine last season, Dan Warthen worked before the game with Putz on his delievery, likely trying to find a pain-free, fluid way to return the sink on his splitter, which has been ineffective for weeks.
Maine essentially did the same thing last season, in an effort to regain the tail on his fastball, which did not return.
This is total speculation, but I bet Putz gets rest, pitches here and there over the next week or so, all while the team works to find a pain-free, effective way to get acceptable results.
If he’s effective, wonderful.
However, if he’s ineffective, and nothing is working, I suspect we’ll begin to hear more and more about the bone spur, and alternate ways of dealing with it, just like they did with Maine, who eventually had season-ending surgery.
In the end, the Mets need find a way to replace Tim Redding in the rotation, so he can slot in to the bullpen as a long-man, freeing up Brian Stokes to become a situational reliever, allowing Ken Takahashi, Pedro Feliciano and Sean Green to do the same, thus filling out the bullpen in a way that allows Bobby Parnell and Francisco Rodriguez to pitch in just the eighth and ninth innings.