Brett Tomko will fill in as the Dodgers fifth starter this Sunday. Now this seems like something that would normally upset me. It could be the fact that I was roaming the streets last night at three in the morning and I lack the energy to be upset, but it could also be that this really isn't a bad decision.
The Dodgers had three options on their 40 man roster to start Sunday's game, Tomko, Eric Stults and Mike Megrew. Every other starter on the 40 man is either hurt, or ineligible to be called back to the majors since they just got sent down last Sunday. They have no starters in AAA worth mentioning that can be added to the 40 man, and the best starter the Dodgers have in AA is Justin Orenduff. Orenduff has been solid after battling back from arm issues, but he hasn't exactly been kicking down the door. Adding him to the 40 man roster for just one start and inevitably burning a minor league option is not a good use of resources.
Megrew has struck out almost a batter an inning in AA, but even with a strikeout rate that high, his K/BB is barely over two. Simply put, people with 5.71 ERAs in AA don't get called up to make emergency starts. Stults is on the active roster, but is there anything at all inspiring about him. His potential pretty much limits him to being a long reliever. I'm all for seeing what guys have, but there's simply nothing there with Stults. Guys who strikeout seven per nine with a two to one strikeout to walk ratio in their mid 20s at AAA simply do not inspire me.
So, why not Tomko? Why not give him a last hurrah before tossing the two million dollars he's owed down the drain. If he were holding someone useful back, sure keep him out of the rotation, but there's no point in complaining about Tomko holding Eric Stults down. Heck, even Tomko has his upside. This year, his FIP, effectively defense independent ERA, is only 4.29, so he has been getting beat on balls in play. Am I clinging to a false hope? Maybe. But when the options are "start Tomko, probably lose game" or "start Stults, probably lose game", I'm not going to have a strong opinion one way or another.
If Tomko is still starting in a month, then I'll be a bit upset.