Stutes Leaves A Lasting Impression
Righty could factor into Phillies' bullpen in 2011
CLEARWATER, Fla.—Pitching coach Rich Dubee said righthander Mike Stutes made a "very good impression" in big league camp.
Despite being reassigned to minor league camp with 10 days to go in spring training, Stutes, 24, remained very much on the minds of Phillies officials. He continued to pitch well and was back in big league camp before the team headed north. Three days before Opening Day, Stutes was still being considered for a spot in the bullpen.
"I like the way he throws," manager Charlie Manuel said. "He's tough. He's got a good fastball with late life. It jumps on you. I think there's a good chance he can help us this year."
Stutes, an 11th-round draft pick out of Oregon State in 2008, pitched 10 innings in official Grapefruit League games. He allowed one run, one walk and struck out 11. After one outing, Manuel was speaking with home plate umpire Brian O'Nora, who told the skipper that Stutes had some of the best late movement he'd seen all spring.
"Some guys can gain a little velocity as they reach the hitting zone," Dubee said. "That's tough to teach."
Stutes spent his first two seasons in the Phillies system as a starter. He was moved to the bullpen last year and went a combined 7-1, 3.42 in 53 games at Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He averaged over nine strikeouts per nine innings.
The bullpen seems to fit Stutes' makeup and his arm. He doesn't rattle easily and likes coming to the park with a chance to pitch every day. He is resilient and rubber-armed and seldom ices. If Stutes opens the season at Lehigh Valley, he will likely see some multiple-innings action, a potential role for him in Philadelphia.
"I'd like to think I could contribute (in Philadelphia)," Stutes said. "If I didn't I should stop playing. I'm kind of running out of time. I'm not really a young prospect any more."
• Shortstop Troy Hanzawa, catcher Francisco Diaz and longtime coach and manager Greg Legg were honored at the end of spring training with the organization's awards for standout play and dedication in minor league camp.
• Outfielder Tyson Gillies, who missed significant time with left hamstring issues in 2010, was slowed again by the problem late in camp.