A companion stat to putouts is that of assists. Assists are credited to a player who have contributed to a play in which a batter or runner is putout, but is not the fielder who actually did the putting out.
For example, a groundball that is fielded by the third baseman and thrown on to the first baseman to get the force out at first base will result in the third baseman being credited for the assist (and the first baseman credited with the putout).
Credit is also given to a fielder that would have contributed to a putout had it not been for an error. For example, a groundball that is fielded by the third baseman and thrown on to the first baseman who commits an error by dropping the ball and allowing the batter to reach safely would still result in the third baseman being credited for the assist.
The final part of the rule states that an assist is also awarded to a player that assists on a play that results in a runner being called out for interference or for running out of line. This may seem redundant, but technically there are no fielders physically putting the runner out in these situations (although the closest fielder will generally receive automatic credit for the putout), so the rule book clarifies just in case there is any confusion.
The second part of the assists section clarifies three situations that are not considered assists.
First, the pitcher does not receive credit for an assist on a strikeout unless he helps to put out a runner at first base on a dropped third strike (in the event the ball bounces back to him, for example).
Next, the pitcher isn’t credited with an assist on a play that the catcher catches a runner stealing or picks a runner off. A quick throw down to the first baseman after a pitch that renders a runner with a leadoff out will see the catcher credited with an assist, but not the pitcher.
Finally, a wild throw by a fielder (whether or not it is an error) is not an assist if a runner is later put out on that play.