Just got back from vacation to the news that J.J. Putz had a bone spur last season and it was difficult for him to talk about being hurt with the New York media. That's what he told Comcast-Chicago anyway in a recent interview that prompted yet another statement from the Mets as they continue their cleanup of last year's toxic season
The bone spur was never a secret, but even Putz admitted the Mariners told him he didn't need surgery -- shortly before shipping him to the Mets. Was that a ploy by Seattle to get something for him with a ticking bomb inside his elbow? Maybe. Putz wondered about that during his post-surgery rehab with the Mets.
The bottom line is that the Mets chose to take that gamble and got burned by it. Any supposedly “healthy” pitcher will tell you they have no idea what is actually happening inside their elbow or shoulder unless they have an X-Ray or MRI. In most instances, there probably is something floating around or torn and they don't want to know. But they have to continue to pitch until it is impossible to do so. It’s their job.
Putz knows that. And he kept trying until the spur finally locked up his elbow. By then, neither he nor the Mets had any choice. The Mets were on the hook after the 12-player, three-team trade to get Putz and the former Mariners’ closer was in the walk year of his contract.
In hindsight, should the Mets have made the trade in the first place? Well, Putz looked nasty in spring training and threw in the upper 90s during the World Baseball Classic, so he seemed OK then. Again, with a bone spur in the elbow, it was just a matter of time. If Putz made it through the season, it would have been worth the risk. But with the Mets, as we’ve learned, it’s probably best to expect the worst.