PHOENIX -- When he started throwing a cut fastball this spring, D-backs closer J.J. Putz said he hoped it would be a valuable part of his arsenal.
One game into the 2012 season and that appears to be what it is.
Putz threw four cutters in picking up the save in Friday's season opener with the Giants, none of which went for hits.
"It's definitely something I'm going to utilize," Putz said. "I felt like I had a pretty good one [Friday] for the most part. It was harder than I thought it would be -- 91, 92 mph -- which is good. I was just more happy that [catcher Miguel Montero] had the confidence to call it."
Montero said he only caught Putz once during the spring and based his decision to call four cutters, including one that got Buster Posey to ground out to end the game, based on how it looked when Putz was throwing his warmup pitches for the ninth.
Putz initially talked about the pitch being used to get inside against left-handers because his regular fastball has a tendency to drift back out over the plate.
But he used it against righties -- Posey for example -- and if they are cheating to hit a fastball, the late cut on the ball can result in them hitting it off the end of the bat and rolling it over to short.
Parra to be defensive weapon for D-backs
PHOENIX -- One way D-backs manager Kirk Gibson plans on getting outfielder Gerardo Parra playing time became clear on Opening Day when he put Parra in left field as a defensive replacement for Jason Kubel in the seventh inning.
"I talked to Jason about that a long time ago in Spring Training," Gibson said. "He has no problem with it. It's good for our team, Parra is a defensive weapon. If the situation calls for it, I don't know why I wouldn't do that. You're losing something offensively, but you gaining something as well. It's a different dimension."
Adding to Gibson's desire to make the switch Friday was the fact that Kubel is still battling a sore right quad that kept him on the shelf for four days during Spring Training.
The injury does not hamper Kubel's ability to play nor has it gotten any worse, but Gibson said, "It's never gone 100 percent away."
Parra was the starter in left in 2011 and hit a career-best .292 while also capturing a Rawlings Gold Glove Award. He lost his starting position in January when the team signed Kubel to a two-year deal.
Roberts shakes off Opening Day jitters
PHOENIX -- Ryan Roberts was so nervous before his first Opening Day start that the D-backs third baseman said just before batting practice that he would have to remember to breathe when he got out there.
Turns out, Roberts was just fine as he wound up driving home the winning runs with a two-run double in the sixth off Tim Lincecum.
"It was very exciting," he said of the day. "I had more nerves from when I woke up to about a half hour before the game than I did during the game. During the game there was a little bit of nerves, but it kind of calmed down once I got on the field, oddly enough. I would have thought it would be the other way, but it wasn't. It was really strange that it worked out that way."
And how about coming through with the winning hit? Did that make his first Opening Day start more exciting?
"Anybody could have come up in that situation," he said. "Just to get the win was enough."
Chris Young was struck on the right forearm by a Santiago Casilla pitch in the seventh inning Saturday, but said he was fine following the game.
Daniel Hudson, who won the National League Silver Slugger Award last year, was 2-for-3 with a pair of singles to right Saturday.
Jason Kubel, signed to a two-year deal in the offseason, is still looking for his first hit after six at-bats. D-backs manager Kirk Gibson was asked if he thinks Kubel is pressing.
"Could be," Gibson said. "It's hard to tell. I asked him about that and I told him to relax and play his game. He'll be fine."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.