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Putz practices slider against Giants

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- J.J. Putz is working on bringing a slider back to his repertoire, but the D-backs' closer wanted to make it clear that the pitch would not have the disastrous impact his dalliance last spring with the cut fastball did.

Putz blamed last spring's focus on throwing the cutter to his poor mechanics early in the season, which led to struggles on the mound.

"It is not a cutter," Putz said. "It is not a cutter. I know that hurt my mechanics big time."

The slider is not an entirely new pitch for Putz, just one he has not really thrown for a while.

"It was a big pitch for me in '06 and '07, and after my surgery I didn't really throw it a whole lot," said Putz, who had surgery in 2009. "I started messing around with it a little last year and kind of made it a priority this year."

Putz worked in a "B" game against the Giants on Sunday morning so he could focus on throwing the slider more. He wound up throwing seven in his inning of work.

"Most of them had the good break and tilt we were looking for," Putz said. "The first two weren't that great."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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