Earlier in the week, I wrote about Clayton Richard and how terrific he has pitched for the Padres during the last few weeks. Richard however has not been the only San Diego starter to be lighting up the stat sheet over the course of this month. In fact, Eric Stults has put up just as solid of an August as Richard, and is currently making a case to be a solid piece of the Padres’ pitching staff in the future.
Stults’ Solid August
Traded for at mid-season to help an already injured and beleaguered pitching staff, Stults logged some work in the starting rotation and out of the bullpen for the Friars and missed some significant time due to an injury. Since the month of August began and Stults became healthy, he has established himself as a steady option in the Padres make-shift starting rotation. Over his last five starts, Stults has not only pitched effectively, but put up a stat line comparable to Richard’s August numbers:
4-0 Record, a 1.69 ERA, 5 Walks, 18 Strikeouts, 32.0 Innings
But not only has Stults gone out and pitched well for close to 7.0 Innings per start, he also has done his part with the lumber. Over his last five outings, Stults has hit .500 (5 for 10), hit one Double, drove in 3 Runs versus the Diamondbacks, and laid down two Sacrifices for the team. What has been even more impressive however is that Stults has hit .389 on the season in 22 total plate appearances.
Stults will inevitably finish out the season in the rotation and should receive at least 5 more starts down the stretch. The competition for a spot in San Diego’s 2013 starting staff will be a bit more heated, and Stults must bring his “A game” over the next month. Yet even if Joe Wieland, Casey Kelly, Anthony Bass, and Andrew Cashner start next season in the big league rotation, Stults should be a valuable spot-starter and long-relief asset to this ball club if he continues to pitch well. And since Tim Stauffer seems to be perpetually injured, and Cory Luebke as well as Wieland could miss a decent amount of time due to their injuries too, Stults could find himself back in the rotation if Black elects to go with the more inexperienced guys along with Edinson Volquez and Richard to start in 2013.
Regardless of what happens, it will be interesting to see what San Diego inevitably does and what decisions they make during this offseason with regards to their starters. Of all of the veteran Pitchers they signed or traded for to fill in, only Stults has panned out and played consistently well. For now though, let us wait, watch, and root on Stults as he tries to keep the positive momentum rolling.
Stats Courtesy of: Baseball Reference