MLB Hall of Fame: Breaking down the 2020 ballot

PHILADELPHIA - NOVEMBER 02: Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees field a ball against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game Five of the 2009 MLB World Series at Citizens Bank Park on November 2, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA - NOVEMBER 02: Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees field a ball against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game Five of the 2009 MLB World Series at Citizens Bank Park on November 2, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /

J.J. Putz – first year on ballot

J.J. Putz was seemingly feast or famine as a reliever.

There were times when Putz was one of the best closers in the game, a force in the ninth inning that could get anyone out. Then, at other times, Putz was napalm on the mound, the relief equivalent of pouring petrol on a bonfire. There really was not an in between when it came to Putz.

Yet, when his career was over, Putz had respectable enough numbers. An All Star in 2007, he posted a 3.08 ERA and a 1.152 WHiP, notching 189 saves. While he had four seasons with over 30 saves, Putz also had seven years where he failed to reach double digits in the category. Putz struck out 599 batters with 184 walks in his 566.2 innings.

That inconsistency definitely hurt Putz throughout his career. Despite having those occasionally dominant years, he was consistently overlooked for the MidSummer Classic. Likewise, he could not hold the closer job long enough to really build a resume worthy of the MLB Hall of Fame.

At times, J.J. Putz would dominate. But those times were not frequent enough to warrant induction in Cooperstown.