Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Welcome to the Blue, Daniel Hudson!

I guess you ride the hot hand while you can.

Last night Walker Buehler wowed the Dodgers and its fans with an impressive five-inning scoreless starting pitching debut. Now, he's been sent back down to Triple-A Oklahoma City, and in his place is reliever Daniel Hudson -- who has given hitters fits so far this season. Per a Dodger press release:
Hudson, 31, who signed a minor-league contract with the Dodgers on March 30, has made five relief appearances with the OKC Dodgers this season and has yet to allow a hit in 4.2 innings, while striking out five batters. The veteran right-hander, who was traded to Tampa Bay from Pittsburgh on February 22, appeared in seven games with the Rays during Spring Training, allowing nine runs in 5.1 innings with six strikeouts.
In 2017, Hudson spent the entire season with the Pirates, his first year with the organization, as he set a career-high in appearances (71), which also tied for 11th most among National League relievers. He posted a 2-7 record with a 4.38 ERA (30 ER/61.2 IP) and struck out 66 batters against 33 walks, while limiting hitters to a .248 average. 
The Lynchburg, Virginia, native has gone 37-30 with nine saves and has posted a 3.98 ERA in 270 career big league games (59 starts) over eight Major League seasons with the White Sox (2009-10), Diamondbacks (2010-16) and Pirates (2017). He has struck out 501 career batters against 178 walks, while holding the opposition to a .252 average, including a .247 mark against lefties. Hudson was originally selected by the White Sox in the fifth round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft from Old Dominion University.
As you may know, Daniel Hudson was at one time a desired commodity. He had signed a two-year $11MM contract with the Pirates to begin the 2017 season, but found himself traded to Tampa Bay after struggling a year later. Then, a month after that he got released. So, both Tampa and Pittsburgh remain on the hook for the remaining $5.5MM on his contract this season. Now as a Dodger, he hopes to rekindle the magic that he had lost. Per Jacob Unruh at NewsOK:
“It was a whirlwind,” Hudson said. “I'm fortunate to be here and play. I just want to stay here and compete.”
He's got his confidence back, and he's finally able to settle down and pitch. 
“Obviously, I know I can compete and pitch at the highest level,” Hudson said. “I'm just out there trying to get back to that. Like everybody, I'm trying to get to the big leagues. I'm just trying to get back to who I am as a pitcher and who I was in the past.”
In celebration of Hudson's promotion to Los Angeles I made the above fantasy card of him. Unfortuantely, I couldn't find a pic of him wearing Dodger Blue anywhere.

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