The long wait for Daniel Hudson, it appears, is almost over.
The 27-year-old Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander hasn’t thrown a pitch in the majors in over two years. Monday he was activated from the disabled list and is with the club as their series against the Padres continues in San Diego. It’s somewhat remarkable and a testament to Hudson who’s had two Tommy John surgeries in the past 24 months.
Really appreciate the nice words guys. Can’t wait to get back out there with the guys. Been a long road back with a lot of work left to do!
— Daniel Hudson (@DHuddy41) August 30, 2014
General manager Kevin Towers believes Hudson is best suited to come out of the bullpen as he ramps up his arm strength and durability and some believe the organization views him as an option to close games if his velocity is where it needs to be for late-inning situations.
“He certainly was very successful as a starter,” ESPN baseball insider Pedro Gomez told Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat in a phone interview Tuesday. “He had a 16-win season. You go through Tommy John twice…the amount of innings you used to go through are probably no longer going to be available.”
Hudson has been tinkering with his release point and arm angle in hopes of putting less stress on the elbow. Proper mechanics are critical to a pitchers health and success. We have yet to see if the adjustments will benefit his return in short or long-term.
“If you’re the Diamondbacks you do have to find out if Daniel Hudson is good enough to get one inning every other day or so,” Gomez explained to Cesmat. “He’s going to have a month to see if he can do the job.”
He also said the mental hurdle could be just a big as the physical one for “Huddy.”
“Closing in the ninth inning is much more mental than it is physical…he’s probably looking forward to this opportunity.”
You can bet the organization is, as well.