Remember Michael Stutes?
- Updated: October 5, 2011
When did Michael Stutes all of a sudden become Adam Eaton?
Michael Stutes had one bad month in August and all of a sudden everyone is ready to toss him aside like yesterday’s sports page.
This weekend I heard two reporters (David Murphy and some other guy) agree that essentially Stutes is no more than a last resort or a “mop-up” guy.
Chris Coste said he would have chosen Herndon over Stutes for the final NLDS roster spot. Herndon?! David Herndon?! Admittedly, Herndon’s ERA (3.32) is better than Stutes (3.63), but c’mon! Tell me he hasn’t fallen that far?
Stutes ran into some big time struggles in August, surrendering eight runs in 12.1 innings and an 5.84 ERA for the month. But that was a month ago. Stutes bounced back with a 3.00 ERA in September and seemed to regain his form, but it apparently didn’t put him in favor of the Phillies media.
In some ways, you might say there is reason to have MORE confidence in Stutes, not less. In The Mental ABC’s of Pitching the author writes, “If you want to know who I am, watch me when things aren’t going my way.” Things clearly weren’t going his way in August. But Stutes’ ERA in September ranked 2nd out of his five full months and it was his third best month in BB/9, K/9, and WHIP. Stutes struggled for the first time in his young big league career and survived to find the light at the end of the tunnel. That speaks volumes to the character of Michael Stutes!
Maybe this argument would have been better BEFORE he gave up three runs in a third of an inning in Game 1 of the NLDS, but Stutes does not belong in the back of the bus just yet. You can argue that Madson, Bastardo, Lidge, Worley, and even Kendrick all belong ahead of Stutes, but just not Herndon.