Ladies (and gents) get your swooning couches ready: Cutesy Stutesy is coming back to Philadelphia. After the demotion of Phillippe Aumont to AAA, the Phillies made the corresponding move this afternoon and brought long lost summer fling Mike Stutes back to the major leagues.
Stutes, you may remember, pitched 62 memorable innings in 2011, averaging a healthy strikeout rate (8.4 per nine innings), but a far less healthy walk rate (4.06 per 9) and home run rate (1.02 per 9). Still, despite some troubling peripherals, Stutes was generally a success, pitching to a 3.63 ERA over 57 appearances. Then, as with most things in 2012, the wheels came off of Stutes.
Having earned the key to both the seventh inning and our hearts, the hunky bullpenner had a fairly rough 5.2 innings and then was shut down for the rest of the year after undergoing shoulder surgery. As the linked article above says, he was "erratic" in Spring Training (which, like, maybe he was just emotionally unstable, man), and he was sent down to AAA Lehigh Valley to gain some experience and confidence. He looked pretty good over 27 innings this year, keeping his K/9 at 8.33, while lowering his BB/9 (to 3.67) and HR/9 (to .33). Yes, it's a small sample, but hey, why not throw something at the wall, right?
As for Aumont, the linked article says that Charlie still has faith in our mutual frere. And well he should: despite fairly middling results in terms of control, Aumont's stuff is not to be doubted. I think it's fairly safe to assume that we'll see him again this year, and with the proverbial chip on his shoulder!
And so the bullpen worm turns. Still, while it remains to be seen if the 'pen got any better by dropping Aumont and adding Stutes, we do know one thing for sure: it definitely got better looking.