Putz finds quick success with new cutter

Putz finds quick success with new cutter

PHOENIX -- When he started throwing a cut fastball this spring, D-backs closer J.J. Putz said he hoped it would be a valuable part of his arsenal.

One game into the 2012 season and that appears to be what it is.

Putz threw four cutters in picking up the save in Friday's season opener with the Giants, none of which went for hits.

"It's definitely something I'm going to utilize," Putz said. "I felt like I had a pretty good one [Friday] for the most part. It was harder than I thought it would be -- 91, 92 mph -- which is good. I was just more happy that [catcher Miguel Montero] had the confidence to call it."

Montero said he only caught Putz once during the spring and based his decision to call four cutters, including one that got Buster Posey to ground out to end the game, based on how it looked when Putz was throwing his warmup pitches for the ninth.

Putz initially talked about the pitch being used to get inside against left-handers because his regular fastball has a tendency to drift back out over the plate.

But he used it against righties -- Posey for example -- and if they are cheating to hit a fastball, the late cut on the ball can result in them hitting it off the end of the bat and rolling it over to short.