With the news that Hiroki Kuroda will make his long-awaited return from the DL to pitch at Dodger Stadium on Monday, someone’s going to have to be dropped from the rotation – and it’s obviously going to be Eric Stults or Eric Milton. Since they’re pitching back-to-pack this weekend against the same opponent (each on national TV, no less) it makes a pretty nice competition between the two. However, dodgers.com seems to have already declared a winner:
“Will likely make his last start for a while” sounds pretty pro-Milton to me. Are we really that sure of the outcome already? Sure, Milton was nice the last time out, getting a win in Colorado, but he only went five innings and was hardly dominant. Stults has had two lousy starts in a row, but he did throw a fantastic shutout the time before that and was effective in four of his first five starts preceding the shutout.
I tend to think that it’s probably not going to matter much, both due to the big lead and because it’s likely both are still going to get some time as the #5 starter regardless, but let’s not write off Stults so easily. He’s inconsistent, but he’s shown some real talent at times. And isn’t that all you can ask for from a #5 starter?
(I now reserve the right to delete this entire post if he goes out and gets lit up today.)