Stutes Is Ready to Go
Phillies pitchers and catchers hold their first official workout today. Roy Halladay is scheduled to speak to reporters after the workout. He is trying to bounce back following one of the worst seasons of his career. Carlos Ruiz also said he will speak following batting practice. He is suspended the first 25 games of the season for using a banned stimulant.
But before that happens, we had a chance to catch up with right-hander Mike Stutes, who missed most of last season following shoulder debridement surgery.
Stutes said he threw a bullpen session in November just to see how he felt following the June 26 procedure — it went well — before picking up his throwing program about Jan. 5 or 6. He said he has thrown eight bullpen sessions since, and is not limited in any way as camp opens.
“It was kind of an immediate thing,” he said of the improvement following surgery. “Three, four days after surgery I was already (raising my arm) up over my shoulder. I haven’t had any sort of setbacks or anything like that, so it’s been pretty encouraging ever since I started throwing again. It kind of feels like a brand new shoulder. I don’t have the clicking and catching that I was feeling last year. It’s good that it’s not anymore.”
If Stutes pitches as well as he feels in these offseason bullpen sessions, he should be a top candidate to win one of the three remaining jobs in the bullpen. Stutes went 6-2 with a 3.63 ERA in 57 appearances in 2011. He also has the ability to throw multiple innings, which they would seem to need if they don’t take a prototypical long man.
“I’m really excited about it,” he said. “I miss being out there, facing hitters and stuff like that. I’m really looking forward to getting out there and face that first guy.”