SAN DIEGO -- Reliever Brad Brach has been markedly improved in his second stint with the Padres compared to his first go-around.
Brach has allowed no runs in five innings since the Padres recalled him from Triple-A Tucson on May 4 after they traded reliever Ernesto Frieri to the Angels.
In comparison, Brach posted a 5.06 ERA, giving up three runs in 5 1/3 innings for the Padres in April after they recalled him when starting pitcher Tim Stauffer went on the disabled list.
The difference? Brach said he's just throwing a lot of strikes. His ERA is 2.61.
"That was one of the biggest things the coaches told me when I got sent down, that I just need to throw in the zone and execute pitches," he said. "So, I've just been throwing in the zone and executing more pitches."
Brach has also noticed a spike in his velocity as he's pitched more aggressively.
"It's just been consistently 93-94 [mph] instead of 91-94 or somewhere in there," he said. "It's been a higher, more consistent velocity."
Padres claim Stults off waivers from White Sox
SAN DIEGO -- While the Padres were remodeling their middle infield on Thursday, they also picked up another left-handed pitcher.
The Padres claimed Eric Stults off waivers from the White Sox. Stults is expected to join the team on Friday, and the Padres will make a corresponding move to put him on the roster.
Stults, 32, allowed two runs in 6 2/3 innings in two appearances, including one start, with the White Sox this season. He gave up two runs, struck out four and walked four in six innings in a start against the Indians on May 7.
Stults is 8-10 with a 4.84 ERA in 43 games, including 25 starts, over parts of six Major League seasons with the Dodgers (2006-09), Rockies (2011) and White Sox (2012).
Padres manager Bud Black didn't specify what role Stults will have. The Padres currently have three left-handers in their bullpen.
"I've seen him in the bullpen. I've seen him start," Black said. "He's versatile.
"He's been around the block a little bit. He's a guy we have good reports on in our scouting system. He's another guy when one door closes another one opened up."
Padres starting pitcher Joe Wieland said he'll likely begin throwing Friday. He went on the disabled list May 10, retroactive to May 7, with a strained right elbow.
Padres closer Huston Street is expected to start throwing soon, general manager Josh Byrnes said. Street went on the disabled list on May 5 with a strained right lat muscle.
Sarah Trotto is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.