The Indians invited two minor league right-handed pitchers in Josh Judy and Zach Putnam to major league camp Tuesday, giving the club nine internal invites and 18 non-roster invitees for the upcoming 2010 Spring Training camp in Goodyear, Arizona.
Judy opened the season at Class-A Kinston but spent a majority of last year serving as the closer at Double-A Akron when Vinnie Pestano went down with a season-ending arm injury.
In five games at Kinston, Judy picked up three saves before being promoted to the Aeros, where he went 4-3 with 11 saves and a 3.10 ERA in 36 games (one start) for Akron.
Despite being pressed into such a heady role so quickly in his first elongated exposure to the Double-A level, Judy limited Eastern League hitters to a .198 average. Judy, who will turn 24 on Feb. 9, also allowed only three earned runs over the final 19 games, going 1-0 with nine saves to help the Aeros win their third E.L. pennant.
The 6-foot-4, 200-pound Judy also pitched for Peoria Saguaros in the prestigious Arizona Fall League, going 2-2 with a 1.59 ERA in 11 games. In 17 innings he walked eight batters and notched 20 strike outs.
Putnam's path last season was similar to Judy's in that he too opened the 2009 season with the K-Tribe before earning an early promotion to Akron.
In five starts for Kinston, Putnam was 2-0 with a 4.13 ERA with five walks compared to 23 strikeouts. When he was called up to Akron, Putnam was needed in the bullpen and quickly turned into a reliever.
The 22-year old went 4-2 with two saves and a 4.13 ERA, racking up 57 saves and issuing just 18 walks. The 6-foot-2, 225 Putnam was especially fond of the Aeros' Canal Park, were he carried a 2-1 mark and 2.40 ERA in 18 games at home.
By the end of the '09 season, Baseball Prospectus ranked Putnam as the 11th best prospect in the Indians organization. Despite being just a second-year pro, Putnam also pitched for Peoria Saguaros in the AFL, where he went 0-1 with a 8.76 ERA in five starts.
Heading into spring training, Putnam (drafted by the Tribe in the fifth round in 2008 out of the University of Michigan) is ranked by Baseball America as the Indians 16th best prospect. Judy, the Indians 34th-round selection in 2007 out of little-known Indiana Tech, sits at No. 19.