On the Other Hand, Going to Vegas Can’t Be a Punishment

Yesterday, Vin detailed the then-pending trade for Greg Maddux, and while I was very happy to hear that Maddux was coming back, today I’d hoped to discuss the players sent back to San Diego to see if the deal was worth it.
Except that the return going south is, according to Tony Jackson and other sources, “two minor league players to be named later or cash considerations.” So it’s a little difficult to analyze a trade in which you have no idea what’s going the other way. We’ll get to that when the information comes out, but in the meantime, a roster move had to be made to get Maddux onto both the 25 and 40-man rosters.
According to the press release the Dodgers just sent out, injured reliever Scott Proctor was shifted from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL, and lefty Eric Stults was sent back down to AAA Las Vegas. Proctor’s been on the DL since June 22 and is only 3 days short of actually having been gone 60 days, so that’s a no-brainer. But as for the other move, well, I hesitate to make too big a deal of who’s the last man on the staff. In the long run, it’s probably not that big of a deal, especially when Stults is almost certain to return when rosters expand on September 1.
That said, I have to ask: why was Stults sent down rather than Tanyon Sturtze? Neither had gotten into a game since they were recalled on the same day last week – Sturtze, in fact, still hasn’t pitched in the bigs since 2006. Stults has been outperforming Sturtze in the minors this season, but that’s almost irrelevant since Stults has had major league success this season – have we already forgotten his completely dominating complete game shutout of the White Sox earlier this year? In 6 starts, he had a 3.18 ERA, which is good for a 139 ERA+.
Not only that, now that Kershaw and Maddux are both in the rotation and both unlikely to go deep into games (for different reasons), the club could certainly use an effective multi-inning guy like Stults, rather than a busted veteran who hasn’t pitched in the bigs in over 2 years (and hasn’t pitched effectively in the bigs in 7 years!)
Again, this isn’t really something to get all that worked up about, but it is definitely a questionable decision worth discussing. I’m pretty sure we’ll revisit this when (not “if”) Torre puts him into a high-pressure situation and Sturtze completely blows it. Right?

- Mike Scioscia’s tragic illness msti-face.jpg