Eric Stults broke into the major leagues with the Dodgers in 2006. (Getty Images)
DENVER — Left-handed pitcher Eric Stults, whom the Dodgers acquired in the recent trade that sent Juan Uribe to the Atlanta Braves, will report to Double-A Tulsa.
Stults had been designated for assignment immediately after the trade became official. By accepting an outright assignment, Stults returns to the club that drafted him in 2002 and employed him at the major league level from 2006-09.
In nine games (eight starts) for the Braves this season, Stults went 1-5 with a 5.85 earned-run average.
The Dodgers were ultimately able to keep all four players they acquired for Uribe and pitcher Chris Withrow in the organization. Pitcher Ian Thomas is in Triple-A, pitcher Juan Jaime is at extended spring training and infielder Alberto Callaspo is with the Dodgers.
Chris Cotillo of SBNation.com first reported that Stults accepted the outright assignment.
Dodgers pitcher Chris Withrow was the last member of the 2007 draft class still in the organization. (Getty Images)
Logan White had some great drafts as the Dodgers’ amateur scouting director. He found Matt Kemp and Chad Billingsley and A.J. Ellis in one year. In another, Dee Gordon and Nathan Eovaldi. In another, Zach Lee and Joc Pederson — in the 11th round.
Oh, and Clayton Kershaw.
None of these years was 2007, which is a forgettable outlier as baseball draft classes go. It’s kind of like the scab you keep picking at that never seems to go away. We’re picking at it today because, well, it sort of went away.
The Dodgers will stretch out Ian Thomas, the left-hander acquired in the Juan Uribe trade, as a starting pitcher.
The 28-year-old made 21 appearances out of the Atlanta bullpen the last two years, going 1-2 with a 3.94 earned-run average.
“You’ll see him up here,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “This guy’s a very serviceable pitcher in the big leagues.”
Gonzalez said the Braves never envisioned Thomas as a starter after signing him out of the independent Northern League in May 2012 but added “he’s got enough pitches that he can start.”
Friedman’s opinion of Thomas is even higher. He began talking to the Braves about Thomas in spring training, and liked the lefty enough that he threw in fireballing right-hander Chris Withrow along with Uribe.
“We feel like his floor is as a good major league reliever,” Friedman said. “He actually has a chance to pitch in our rotation and serve as depth for us, at a time that’s a big emphasis of ours.”
Thomas has one option year remaining on his contract.
Withrow had Tommy John surgery in June 2014. The Dodgers were not counting on him returning until 2016, “in terms of him getting back to what he was,” Friedman said.