A month ago, closer JJ Putz wasn't sure if the cut fastball he'd been tinkering with in the off-season would develop into a usable pitch.

But from listening to him Friday, it sounds like the cutter won't just be usable -- it could be a real factor in his repertoire.

"I'm not looking at it to just kind of play with," Putz said. "It's something I'm going to use and hopefully use to my advantage and make it part of my plan."

Putz threw primarily fastballs and splitters last season with the Diamondbacks, posting a 2.17 ERA while converting 45 of 49 save opportunities. But he thinks a cutter, which would bear in on left-handed hitters, will help complement his fastball, which has a tendency to fade away from lefties.

Manager Kirk Gibson suggested that it could help Putz become more efficient. And since fewer pitches means less work, the pitch could make him more durable.

"If you're throwing 25 pitches every game, that's going to catch up with you," Gibson said. "I think JJ understands that he's being a little wittier, I guess. Trying to be a little more efficient, a little smarter at finding different ways to get guys out."