OK, I admit it – I was worred that we were going to be seeing the 2007 version of Eric Stults when he came up from Las Vegas to cover for Penny and Kuroda. That Eric Stults was not up to 2006 form and was quickly forgotten as the season wound down.
Instead, we’ve got the guy who was in control back in AAA Las Vegas and who has carried that poise and control back up to the Majors. After notching a win where he pitched six innings and gave up three runs (only one earned) against the Cincinnati Reds in his first outing of the season for the Dodgers, Stults delivered a four-hit shutout against the AL Central leading White Sox and notched another win for the boys in blue.
In addition to his stellar pitching of late, Stults also has contributed offensively during interleague play. In the game against Chicago yesterday, Stults manaegd a sac fly to earn his first major league RBI. Not bad for a pitcher with only nine major league starts and 21 games – all of them with an NL team. He’s 8 for 22 with a .364 batting average by the way.
What did the White Sox have to say about the shutout delivered to them by a 28 year old recently up from AAA? Basically, they whined that no one had any experience facing him so they didn’t know what to expect. If only that theory held true for all pitchers – with all of the injuries that Dodgers pitching roster has faced recently, the team could simply raid the minors and deliver wins!
Some on the White Sox team gave Stults due props though – catcher A.J. Pierzynski indicated that the Dodger pitcher deserved a little respect after his latest outing. “That guy pitched pretty good,” he said. “He used all his pitches and kept the ball down. We really only had one chance, and that was in the first inning. Other than that, he really didn’t make too many mistakes.”
Update: Looks like Stults has ensured himself as a fixture for at least the next three weeks. With the move to a six-man starting pitching rotation, Torre has confirmed that Stults will remain until the All-Star break, if not longer (according to the Los Angeles Times). The Dodgers’ lefthander is currently 2-0 with a 0.60 ERA.