|San Diego Padres – No. 53|
December 9, 1979 |
|Bats: Left||Throws: Left|
|September 5, 2006 for the Los Angeles Dodgers|
(through 2013 season)
|Earned run average||4.05|
Eric William Stults (born December 9, 1979) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the San Diego Padres of Major League Baseball (MLB). He has also pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Colorado Rockies, and Chicago White Sox in MLB, and for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp in Nippon Professional Baseball.
Stults played in college for NAIA Bethel College (Indiana). Stults pitched and played center field for Bethel, which won the 2002 National Christian Collegiate Athletic Association Division I championship, posting a 10–1 record that season and also played basketball at Bethel.
Los Angeles Dodgers
In 2002, he pitched for the Vero Beach Dodgers and had a record of 3–1 with an ERA of 3.00 in 13 appearances (6 starts). In 2003, he was 3–4 with a 4.97 ERA in 7 starts for the Jacksonville Suns. In 2004, he pitched for the Columbus Catfish of the South Atlantic League and had a record of 1–2, ERA of 2.49 in 12 appearances. He also pitched in 7 games for Vero Beach that year. In 2005, he alternated between Jacksonville and the Las Vegas 51s, he was 4–3, 3.31 in 12 starts for Jacksonville and 3–7, 6.58 in 14 starts for Las Vegas. In 2006, with Las Vegas he was 10–11 with a 4.23 ERA in 26 starts.
Stults made his Major League Baseball debut with the Dodgers on September 5, 2006, against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He pitched three innings and gave up three earned runs. He earned his first Major League victory on September 10 at Shea Stadium as he held the New York Mets to just one run and two hits over 6.0 innings and 86 pitches, walking two and struck out three in the Dodgers' 9–1 win.
In 2007, he returned to the starting rotation with the Las Vegas 51s. He was called up by the Dodgers to start the game against the Colorado Rockies on August 17, and struck out 9 batters en route to his first victory in 2007 after having thrown 7 innings and giving up only 2 runs, 2 hits, and a walk.
After an inconsistent stay in the majors in 2007, Stults was a long shot to make the Dodgers in spring training 2008 and was sent to Triple-A Las Vegas. He was called up and made his first start with the Dodgers on June 19, 2008, replacing injured Dodger ace Brad Penny in the starting rotation after Penny was placed on the disabled list.
Early in the 2009 season, Stults replaced injured starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda. He made the best start of his career against the San Francisco Giants on May 9, 2009. At Dodger Stadium Stults threw a complete game shutout, throwing 123 pitches. He struck out 5, walked none, and allowed only four hits.
On May 15, 2009, Stults injured his thumb while making a toss on a bunt attempt by the Florida Marlins' Hanley Ramírez. Stults would make 2 more starts before going on the disabled list. On July 1, Stults was optioned to the AAA Albuquerque Isotopes. He pitched well with the Isotopes, before getting called up to make a spot start on August 9 against the Atlanta Braves. Stults was optioned back to Albuquerque on August 13 and finished the season there.
Hiroshima Toyo Carp
On November 30, 2010 Stults signed a minor league contract with the Colorado Rockies. He had his contract purchased on July 3, 2011. He appeared in six games for Colorado, recording a 6.00 ERA in 12 innings, before being designated for assignment on July 25.
Chicago White Sox
On December 11, 2011, he signed a minor league contract with an invite to spring training. On May 7, 2012, he was called up to start the second game of a double-header against the Cleveland Indians. Stults was credited with a no-decision pitching six innings giving up two runs on four hits, walking four and striking out four. He was designated for assignment later that month.
San Diego Padres
Stults was claimed off waivers by the San Diego Padres on May 17, 2012, and he made his first start on May 19. Stults went on the disabled list on June 6 with a strained left lat after compiling a 3.19 ERA in four starts, and he returned to the Padres on July 22 after making rehab starts with the Tucson Padres. After pitching out of the bullpen, he rejoined the starting rotation on August 6. He finished the season with a 8–3 record and 2.91 ERA in 20 games and 15 starts.
Stults had 33 starts for the Padres in 2013, going 11-13 with a 3.93 ERA, striking out 131 in 203.2 innings. He led the team in wins, losses, complete games (2), innings pitched and strikeouts. After the season, Stults re-signed with San Diego to a one-year deal worth $2.75 million.
Stults throws three pitches regularly and two infrequently. His most common pitch is a four-seam fastball averaging about 85 mph, followed by a changeup (79–81) and slider (80–84). Less commonly, he throws a slow curveball (average about 70 mph), and rarely, a two-seam fastball. The good majority of his pitches to right-handers are fastballs and changeups, with only occasional sliders, while he substitutes the slider for the changeup to left-handers.
He and his wife Stephanie have a daughter, Madeline, son Luke, and daughter Hallie.
- "Rockies consider adding pitcher Carl Pavano".
- Nicholson-Smith, Ben. "Rockies Designate Eric Stults For Assignment". MLBTradeRumors.com. Retrieved July 25, 2011.
- "Minor League Transactions: Dec. 1-8". Baseball America. December 9, 2011.
- "Padres claim Stults from White Sox". SB Nation. May 17, 2012.
- Moreno, Robert (October 15, 2012). "The Emergence of Eric Stults". Chicken Friars. SI.com. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
- Twitter / Ken_Rosenthal: Source: #Padres re-sign Eric Stults, one year, $2.75M.
- "Brooks Baseball · Home of the PitchFX Tool - Player Card: Eric Stults". Brooks Baseball. Retrieved May 29, 2012.
- "Eric Stults: Biography and Career Highlights". The Official Site of The Los Angeles Dodgers.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Minor League Stats