Hudson encouraged despite rocky results in rehab

ROME – Chipper Jones made coming back from the disabled list look easy on Tuesday night – and inviting.

Tim Hudson saw the impact the veteran third baseman had when he returned to the lineup in Houston, helping the Braves turn an 0-4 start into a series win, and Hudson wouldn’t mind doing something similar when he returns to the rotation from spinal fusion surgery.

Hudson is still at least two weeks away – he’s scheduled to make at least two more minor league rehabilitation outings for Triple-A Gwinnett – but after two Single-A appearances, he’s starting to taste it.

“Any time you have Chipper in the lineup, his presence is going to bring a team a little more swagger,” Hudson said. “…He’s a guy that can still really hurt you. I feel like if I’m healthy and on top of my game, I feel the same way. Obviously the results from these couple starts down here don’t look like that, but I think once the bell rings and I feel like I’m ready to go, it’ll be good.”

Hudson pitched four innings Thursday night in Rome in his second rehab outing, giving up nine hits and five runs. As eye-popping as the numbers were, Hudson gave up only two hard-hit balls and a host of seeing-eye singles. He had one run score on a ball that was likely foul past the first base bag, and he let another run score rather than attempting to catch a ball at the plate and risking injury.

Hudson threw 45 of his 62 pitches for strikes, with no walks, one strikeout and one wild pitch. He gave up two stolen bases, not bothering much with holding the runner.

From his vantage point in a suite at State Mutual Stadium, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez liked what he saw based on the number of ground balls Hudson was getting.

“His sinker was working,” said Gonzalez, who took in Thursday night’s game with pitching coach Roger McDowell and club advisor Bobby Cox since the Braves were off.

Hudson said he’ll use his time on the side to sharpen up his pitches, which he felt caught too much of the plate on Thursday night.

“For the most part I feel pretty good where I’m at physically, just got to make some better pitches,” Hudson said. “Obviously that’s going to come as I have more time on the mound and more bullpens, working on that kind of stuff on the side.”

Hudson is 0-2 with a 7.71 ERA after allowing six earned runs in seven innings of his two outings against the Charleston Riverdogs. But most importantly, Hudson said his back feels good; he’s just working on getting into pitching shape.

With at least two more rehab outings, Hudson could return on April 27 against the Pirates at the earliest. Or if the Braves give him an extra day here or there, he could return later in that home stand against the Pirates or Phillies.

The Braves starters have yet to venture past five innings in any of the Braves’ first six games. They could use some of Hudson’s durability, or at least his economy of pitches. Hudson went seven or more innings in 10 of his last 16 starts last season.

Hudson will build up to five innings in his next outing, then six innings the following one. He was out of the game Thursday night by the bottom of the fourth when Kyle Kubitza hit an inside-the-park home run for Rome in an eventual 9-3 loss. Several innings after that Hudson was out in the concourse signing autographs, something he volunteered to do.

“I feel pretty good where I’m at, I’m just glad I’m not in A ball anymore,” Hudson joked. “I’d probably never get back to the big leagues.”

55 comments Add your comment

mjd

April 12th, 2012
10:26 pm

Huddy is the man!

Roland Office For Hall of Fame

April 12th, 2012
10:36 pm

Huddy will spark the first half of the season. Medlin should start. Tell me why he is still in the pen. The guy is a gamer!

Rowland Office For Hall of Fame

April 12th, 2012
10:45 pm

If I could spell Rowland, would you consider me for the Hall?

reckingball

April 12th, 2012
11:29 pm

Who will go when Huddy returns?

Robards

April 12th, 2012
11:32 pm

Probably Delgado.

JNick

April 12th, 2012
11:43 pm

Probably? I’d say certainly…

reckingball

April 12th, 2012
11:47 pm

I vote to keep Delgado.

reckingball

April 12th, 2012
11:51 pm

But they’ll probably want Delgado to go down so that he can keep pitching. My guess.

reckingball

April 12th, 2012
11:52 pm

over and out.

gotigers72

April 13th, 2012
1:42 am

Doesn’t seem odd to me that Huddy volunteered to sign autographs after his pitching stint ended. It’s not always easy to tell if athletes, entertainers and the like are as they seem in public. However, Huddy has always seemed to be a good guy with a great sense of humor. Good luck to you for the rest of your career Tim!

Shelbyflash

April 13th, 2012
2:46 am

Good luck Tim I have had the same surgery 3 different times and I refuse for it to stop me from anything I want to do know you can to.

Shelbyflash

April 13th, 2012
2:47 am

Enter your comments here

bruce

April 13th, 2012
7:09 am

Hi Carroll,
Curiousity question if I may about stretching our starting pitchers and pitch-count…. It seems the standard way to explain or describe the process of building arm strength is increasing by one inning each outing with some smalller quantity of pitches in side sessions between starts. In the dugout are managers really looking at a progression of range on pitch count that they translate into innings when practical for purposes of getting the next guy ready to pitch? If so what are the rough ranges per outing? For instance, Huddy threw 62 pitches last night… was his range something like 55-70 this outing and next time 65-85? Each inning they throw 8 pitches to warm up or one minute (looked that up) so presumably count is added in as well… and some innings are 12 pitches and some are 28.

Glad you and the Braves are “back”. sorry don’t read ajcsports other than Braves to know what you cover in the “off-season.” :)

Kharma

April 13th, 2012
7:46 am

Listen to the Rick Peterson’s of the world and you get what you get. Mr Hudson destroyed his L5-S1 intervertebral disc because he bends at the waist. Round #2 for Tommy John surgery is coming up (assuming his back holds up).

Too bad the AJC doesn’t have investigative reporters as their editor promised.

Braves fan in maine

April 13th, 2012
7:47 am

NO NO dont send delgado down….. send minor or some else down….

Buddy Landel

April 13th, 2012
8:11 am

Roland Office For Hall of Fame

April 12th, 2012
10:36 pm
Huddy will spark the first half of the season. Medlin should start. Tell me why he is still in the pen. The guy is a gamer!

LinkReport this comment.Rowland Office For Hall of Fame

April 12th, 2012
10:45 pm
If I could spell Rowland, would you consider me for the Hall?

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

You could start by learning how to spell “MedlEn”.

G-Money X

April 13th, 2012
8:25 am

I hope Durbin or Hernandez go when Hudson returns. Delgado can be better middle relief than those two castaways…

john

April 13th, 2012
8:27 am

That is some serious spin DOB. I’m a glass half full kinda guy too, but come on. You’re putting the positive spin on way too thick, it’s hard to take that kind of ridiculous pro-bias.

Fidel Selig

April 13th, 2012
8:30 am

The last year of Tony Gwynn’s career he signed autographs for fans before games for 2 hours every game home and away. It’d be nice if Chipper could do the same to show fans his appreciation.

1eyedJack

April 13th, 2012
8:46 am

Braves pitcher’s need to learn how to economize their pitches. Five inning starts are going to flame the bullpen by the All-Star break. Remember when Maddux and Glavine pitched 80-90 pitch complete games? That was awesome.

on the fence

April 13th, 2012
9:05 am

I wonder if the days of a complete game for a pitcher are long gone.

Chuck

April 13th, 2012
9:16 am

What was Hudson’s velocity like?

reckingball

April 13th, 2012
9:17 am

complete games by the starters are rare, for sho

Chuck

April 13th, 2012
9:19 am

Different game now than when Maddux pitched. Strike zone smaller on the sides, larger on the top. Umps knew the batters were roided up and expanded the zone to give pitchers a chance, and to keep the game from being 17 – 12 every night.

reckingball

April 13th, 2012
9:22 am

Anyone remember when Hanson had come up, and had pitched a good tough game(that the Braves were winning) through 8 innings, with only around 85 pitches, then Cox pulled him out of the game, sent in a reliever for the 9th, and the reliever blew the lead and the Braves lost.

bvillebaron

April 13th, 2012
9:23 am

Kharma:

A few questions for you:

(1) What MLB team is Rick Peterson working for now?
(2) Where did you and Peterson get your medical degrees?
(3) Are you clairvoyant or the second coming of Nostradamus?

reckingball

April 13th, 2012
9:25 am

That ump behind the plate in the last Astros game, had one of the tightest strike zones, that I have seen in a long time.

Chuck

April 13th, 2012
9:27 am

Maddux and Glavine figured out the expanded zone and didn’t try to fight muscle with muscle – let the batter get himself out. Helped that their pitches broke really late. Then Glavine had to pitch after the strike zone was tightened. He didn’t have the velocity to pitch in the expanded top part of the zone. I’m surprised Livan has lasted like he has. I bet Glavine thought he could be that sort of pitcher and survive – I wish he would have gotten a chance, although at 84 mph he should have added a knuckleball like Smoltz did when his arm was shredded.

reckingball

April 13th, 2012
9:27 am

Are you the same Karma, that bit Bobby Petrino in the azz so hard?
Just joshing, haha.
go braves

David O'Brien

April 13th, 2012
9:48 am

That is some serious spin DOB. I’m a glass half full kinda guy too, but come on. You’re putting the positive spin on way too thick, it’s hard to take that kind of ridiculous pro-bias. — john

Not sure what you’re referring to, but I didn’t write the story under which you’re commenting. Carroll attended the Rome game and wrote the Hudson story, if that’s what you mean. I didn’t see the game.

reckingball

April 13th, 2012
9:55 am

Can anyone tell me if Glavine will be doing any of the Braves broadcasts this season?

alanfalcon

April 13th, 2012
10:04 am

Send Jaun Francisco down and bring Terdoslovich up, Frank where did you get the idea to trade for that guy.

Larry

April 13th, 2012
10:13 am

reckingball

April 12th, 2012
11:29 pm

“Who will go when Huddy returns?”

If he’s anything like he’s been since last July, after tonight’s performance, Jurrjens will likely warrant a demotion…he’s the most hittable pitcher amond the Braves’ starting pitchers right now. But then, our manager may need to see about 10 good beatings before he can make up his mind!

reckingball

April 13th, 2012
10:20 am

I hope that JJ can pitch a good game in his next start, and go deep into the game.

David O'Brien

April 13th, 2012
10:28 am

Send Jaun Francisco down and bring Terdoslovich up, Frank where did you get the idea to trade for that guy. — alanfalcon

Francisco is out of minor-league options. Can’t be sent down without first clearing waivers.

Miles

April 13th, 2012
10:29 am

Enter your comments here

phil

April 13th, 2012
10:42 am

It would be terrific if JJ could pitch well and go 6 or 7.

We’ve got to get some starters going 7, at least 2 or 3 per run through the rotation, or the pen will be burned up quickly.

Hanson and Delgado were at least decent here recently.

phil

April 13th, 2012
10:42 am

It would be terrific if JJ could pitch well and go 6 or 7.

We’ve got to get some starters going 7, at least 2 or 3 per run through the rotation, or the pen will be burned up quickly.

Hanson and Delgado were at least decent here recently.

phil

April 13th, 2012
10:43 am

ooops….

Fire phil!!

Al

April 13th, 2012
10:54 am

Only in ATL could 7 ERA be good pitching.

Largo

April 13th, 2012
11:30 am

Francisco appears to be a joke somebody played on Wren.

reckingball

April 13th, 2012
12:15 pm

what was the name of that pitcher that they traded for Francisco?
A lot of folks will want to know for future reference.

Gene

April 13th, 2012
12:18 pm

Wren would buy a Rollex from a guy on the street. In fact, Wren would trade a real Rollex for a phony one on the street.

SS Al

April 13th, 2012
12:35 pm

Francisco can’t even wear his cap the right way. He’s a bum. Disgraceful to the Braves.

SS Al

April 13th, 2012
12:36 pm

Really, really happy to read that Tooner Field is gone.

Mark (another one)

April 13th, 2012
12:48 pm

Thanks for pointing out the waiver realities with Francisco. That is why the Reds traded him. No 25 man roster spot was available and they needed pitching. I still think it was a good trade. We gave up a player blocked from the majors by depth for a 3rd baseman, corner outfielder, also blocked but with the Reds. Give the kid a chance to settle down with a new team and get his feet under him.

As for who goes down when Hudson returns, Delgado is the logical one as the Braves hope to have him as a starter for a long time. Let him eat innings in AAA and stay ready. If another starter goes down, he will be a phone call away.

Braves fan in maine

April 13th, 2012
12:51 pm

DOB… IS there a rumor that the braves are trying to bring back jeff francour to the braves??

reckingball

April 13th, 2012
1:07 pm

“IS there a rumor”, if not, you just started one.

Lobosolo

April 13th, 2012
1:13 pm

Ah, Larry is spreading his genius around, changing his meaningless opinion every single game… if Jurrjens pitches a 2-hitter his next outing, someone else will need to go… Larry, honestly, for someone who claims to be such a Renaissance Man and baseball expert as you do about yourself, you sure do say some stupidassed things… How’s that resume coming along, Larroid… got any nibbles yet from the major leagues? No? triple a? double a? No? Really? instructional league? not there either? Man! Pony League? No????? Little League or T-Ball… ahhahahahahahhahah… a legend in his own mind…

jj

April 13th, 2012
1:17 pm

It is way to early to. Give up on Francisco!We let a darn good SS go because people are so impatient with certain players because they are different in ways they look or act!Give him a chance,he just got here.GO BRAVES

AtlantaMelo

April 13th, 2012
3:41 pm

Are referring to Gonzo. If so, I’m glad he’s Gone so…I’d rather have the rev and Wilson. I think I’m the only one that thinks Jack will make meaningful contributions. His lifetime ba is .270. He makes contact and is a most reliable ss. Gonzo was a cancer. His attitude and lack of hustle is something I wouldn’t tolerate either. No question, reliable glove and some power. I’d rather build with team minded personel.

AtlantaMelo

April 13th, 2012
3:50 pm

I’m just not sure what they see in Durbin and Livan. I know Livan is a gamer but Lord, he looks like he’s done. In the four lossed Livan and Durbin, two guys that came from nowhere in the last few weeks made serious contributions to the loss. They were close games, even though we were losing. One, two run games. I don’t get why Fredi had to through them into the fire like that? Why not Martinez, Medlen in those close games? I don’t get it.

[...] Hudson continues to rehab from spinal fusion surgery and is encouraged with the rehab starts. Hudson is still a few weeks away from returning to the Braves [...]

Carroll Rogers

April 13th, 2012
8:23 pm

Bruce, I think they wanted Hudson somewhere around 65-70 pitches and next time he might go up to 85-90. not sure what you’re asking beyond that, but i’m trying! don’t think they take warm-up pitches into account.

cabravesfan, nothing final today on Hudson’s next outing from what DOB heard from Fredi. But we’ll let you know when we know.

[...] Hudson continues to rehab from spinal fusion surgery and is encouraged with the rehab starts. Hudson is still a few weeks away from returning to the Braves [...]

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