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The Hot Stone League

Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners too.

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February 16, 2009 8:39 AM

One last time from J.J. (and he's come to praise)

Posted by Larry Stone


beltre.jpg

The focus yesterday was on Putz's frank comments on the Mariners' clubhouse friction, but he wasn't all negative in our conversation yesterday. He had particular praise for Adrian Beltre and Jarrod Washburn.

When I asked him who he missed most, he said, with hesitation, "Washburn. All the guys in the pen, of course. I really enjoyed playing with Beltre. He's phenomenal. Everyone there is good guys -- Silva, Felix, all those guys.''

Elaborating on Beltre, he said, "I just like the way he plays. He never makes an excuse when he's banged up, and he's out there every day. You have to literally drag him off that field to keep him out of the game. As a pitcher, you appreciate that, because you know what he brings from the defensive side."

He said that Beltre, who had left thumb and shoulder surgery after the season, was in more pain all season than he let on.

"Richie (Sexson), too,'' he said. "He was hurting more than anyone even knows. Gamers.''

Putz also weighed in on the Mariners' wide-open closer's battle. To be his replacement -- assuming Brandon Morrow remains in the rotation ("if Morrow doesn't start, he has to close") -- he endorsed none other than...drum roll...Roy Corcoran.

"I don't know about any of the new guys they have coming in, but I would have to give Corcoran a serious look. (Mark) Lowe, I think, stuff-wise has it. I think he still has to learn a little bit upstairs. But Corky reminds me of Eddie (Guardado), but right-handed. With better stuff -- a better fastball. (Miguel) Batista has done it before. But Corky would have to get a serious look at it.''

(Associated Press photo)

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