OAKLAND -- Mariners closer J.J. Putz picked up another award on Friday, when he was named the DHL Delivery Man of the Month for June. Putz was 11-for-11 in save situations, helping the Mariners compile an 18-9 record. "When you win awards like this, it shows that the team is winning, so that's a good thing," said Putz, also selected as the American League's Pitcher of the Month. "We should be named 'Team of the Month.'"More
Putz, who is 24-for-24 in save situations this season and was named to the AL All-Star team on Sunday, said there is too much work to be done heading into Tuesday night's Midsummer Classic in San Francisco to focus on that game. But it's difficult to ignore. The Mariners are staying in San Francisco for their four-game series against the Athletics and The City is filled with All-Star Game reminders. The right-hander, who took over as the Mariners closer a year ago May, went into Friday night's game against the Athletics with 26 consecutive saves -- one shy of the club record held by his mentor, left-hander Eddie Guardado. And June was a special month for Putz. He surrendered just six hits and struck out 19 batters in 15 1/3 innings, ending the month with a streak of 13 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings. In recognition of the honor, DHL will donate $1,500 to Metro Parks in Tacoma, Wash., in Putz's name. The donation will be made in conjunction with the Baseball Tomorrow Fund (BTF), a joint initiative of Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association. With the donation, the Metro Parks Tacoma will have the opportunity to purchase a pitching machine package from ATEC, the official supplier of pitching machines and other training equipment for MLB. At the conclusion of the regular season, MLB fans will have the opportunity to determine which relief pitcher had the best overall season and deserves the third annual DHL Presents the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Year Award.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less