”I would have liked the opportunity to have a decision. A hundred pitches, to me is not really a magic number to take you out of the game. You work real hard the whole game. There’s one pitch that a guy puts a good swing on, on a pitch away and ties the game up. Apparently, you need 16 years in the big leagues to get that chance.”
While Gonzalez said he would have preferred that not be made public he also said he was fine with Hudson wanting to stay in the game telling reporters “…He’s one of the guys that in a battle, in a big game, you want him on the mound. So I’m fine with that.”
As Chris noted in his earlier post, highly respected Hall of Fame reporter Peter Gammons, Hudson thinks other moves may be afoot.
Tim Hudson has let some former teammates know he thinks he could get dealt. Watch Texas, Boston, San Francisco…
— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) July 5, 2013
Mark Bowman checked with Hudson and said…
W/o being asked, Hudson said there’s no basis to @pgammo‘s recent tweet that said Hudson has told former teammates he thinks he’ll be traded
— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) July 5, 2013
Of course Peter could be way off base, it’s happened before. In any event Jeff pointed out in his pre-game post Huddy hasn’t been outstanding lately. On the other hand he hasn’t been awful either.
Hudson Should Sue For Non-Support
While Huddy certainly isn’t the lights out guy he was two years ago he’s a lot better than most think. It’s true that his 4.22 ERA and 1.212 WHIP are up but looking at his last eight starts he compares really well with his rotation companions.
|Tim Hudson||8||4-4||51 1/3||3.33||1.111|
|Mike Minor||8||3-2||50 1/3||3.58||1.212|
|Kris Medlen||8||5-2||47 2/3||3.21||1.111|
|Julio Teheran||8||3-3||50 2/3||2.49||1.065|
You can see that in his last eight starts – for that matter all year – what he’s lacked is run support.
Given three or more runs this year he’s 4-2 and while his ERA is 4.35 in those games his WHIP is only 1.167 and he struck out 41 while walking 17. In his other five losses this year the Braves were shut out three times and scored two runs in the other two games. Maholm has suffered worse than Hudson receiving less than three runs seven times losing six of those. Medlen too has seven starts with less than three runs of support losing six and winning one while Teheran received that treatment four times and going 0-3. The offense loves Minor however. In his 17 starts only once did the Braves fail to score at least three runs. All of that is beside the point. When a veteran like Hudson says what he’s said in the last week, all is not well in Camelot.
The Beachy Factor
For weeks now there’s been open speculation about the Braves rotation once Brandon Beachy returns from his rehab assignment. Pundits and bloggers alike have speculated that Medlen would go back to the bullpen or that Maholm would be traded but no one even considered that Hudson might be moved. While both Hudson and Maholm are free agents at the end of the year and common wisdom was that Hudson would take a hometown discount to retire a Brave while Maholm would test the free agent market. Has scuttlebutt has reached Huddy that makes him feel uncomfortable? Would the Braves dare do that and if they did what would they want in return?
The Braves minor league system isn’t what it once was and if both Maholm and Hudson move on there would be a hole in the rotation. Sean Gilmartin hasn’t shown any sign he can fill that hole, J.R. Graham has a shoulder issue and while Alex Wood has filled in well enough in the bullpen he’s a starter by trade and needs more seasoning before becoming a regular in Atlanta. So a starter could be needed but back of the rotation guys are relatively easy to find so this doesn’t seem to work.
The bullpen is famously in need of left handed help but it really that makes little sense to trade Huddy for any of the relievers I’ve heard named anywhere. Capping all of this off is the fact that Hudson is a 10/5 guy – 10 years in the bigs and 5 with the Braves – meaning he has a veto on any move he doesn’t like.
That’s a Wrap
As they say back home, this dog won’t hunt. Hudson loves Atlanta and even if there’s a segment of fans who ignore the facts in favor of the hyperbola, most love Huddy. In a business sense he has little trade value to the teams we’d be willing to trade him to and the others teams aren’t a match. Still, something isn’t right.
Hudson had to issue a denial. He couldn’t allow the story to continue. Peter Gammons – unlike one of his more vociferous and less dependable colleagues – doesn’t often make big boners like this but hey even Babe Ruth struck out. Hudson has said his neck has been giving him trouble for a couple of weeks so perhaps that and frustration at being unable to get hat sinker to sink the way he wants it to led to his outburst and this rumor. Whatever is behind it, the Braves need to fix this. Hudson’s presence and experience is essential in our pennant run. No trade can replace it or the goodwill that will be lost with the fans should the Braves be so ill advised to actually make a move. That’s my take, what’s yours?