Over the past few years Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Daniel Hudson has become accustomed to expecting the unexpected.
The 6’4, 220-pounder was a regular in the D-backs starting rotation after coming over in a late-season deal with the Chicago White Sox back in 2010 and helping Arizona to a National League title the following year.
Then came the unexpected.
Back-to-back major arm injuries and subsequent Tommy John surgeries kept Hudson off a major league mound until late last season where he saw limited action in relief. There were whispers even before his return of “Huddy” transitioning into the closer’s role.
Hudson recorded his first big league save in Sunday’s 4-0 win over the Giants in San Francisco.
Thanks for the nice messages everyone. Definitely never thought I’d get a beer shower at 28. Rubby was nasty today! #sweep
— Daniel Hudson (@DHuddy41) June 15, 2015
Is it safe to say those types of late-inning situations could become a more common occurrence as manager Chip Hale shuffles and re-shuffles the back-end of his bullpen following Addison Reed’s early-season late-game struggles?
“[It’s] looking like that,” team President and CEO Derrick Hall told Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat in a phone interview Monday morning. “I think that’s where he’s heading. I still think we need to be handling him delicately this year but…he’s letting the ball go. He’s looking like his old self.”
Hall believes Hudson’s strengths as a power pitcher, mixed with his experience as a starter, fit the criteria of both someone who can not only close games but possibly bridge the eighth and ninth inning if needed.
“I think he’s going to be very good,” Hall said regarding Hudson’s effectiveness once he builds more durability and innings pitched coming back from injury.
He has one spot in-between his work out of the bullpen in 2015 entering Monday night’s game against the Angels. Hudson was 1-2 with a 3.41ERA with 28 strikeouts and just 10 walks in 23 appearances this season.