When the hit song "Shout" by Tears for Fears used to hit the Miller Park soundsystem, it signaled the entrance of left-handed specialist Brian Shouse.
During his time in Milwaukee, Shouse entered game after game and shut down the opposing team's left-handed hitting sluggers. He was effective at getting out of jams and more often than not his inherited runner score rate was impeccable.
One other thing that Brian Shouse was effective at was keeping an actual home-grown pitching talent in the minor leagues.
Mitch Stetter did share some time in Milwaukee with Shouse. When Stetter got his opportunity to be the team's full-time LOOGy, he proved to be up to the task.
Stetter logged 45.0 innings in 71 games during the 2009 season. He finished 13 games, saving one, and frustrated hitter after hitter like mentor before him.
In fact, Stetter even had a stretch during 2009 where he set a record for consecutive outs recorded via strikeout. While he usually delivers the ball with a sweeping side-arm motion, Stetter can vary him arm slot at times which confounds hitters even more.
In short, he keeps the opposition guessing and when you can make a hitter guess, you're in the driver's seat.
Stetter is a lock to make the 2010 roster as the team's LOOGy once more. The next closest left-hander to contributing might be prospect Zach Braddock.
Braddock was invited to big-league spring training this year, but don't look for him to unseat the incumbent at any point this year. Braddock projects more as a 9th inning option anyway, so even if Braddock makes a late-season debut in 2010, Mitch "Irish" Stetter will continue to fill the role he has been in sole possession of since Opening Day 2009.
And, as evidenced by Shouse's remaining in the game even at age 41, if you can get left-handers out at the plate, you can basically play as long as you want. Stetter figures to be in the plans for a while, especially if he keeps performing as we've all seen him capable of doing.
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