Didn’t pitch at an ace level, for which he got slammed, but he was a good pitcher. His ERA was 3.52, but he probably wasn’t quite that good. Reversed a decline in his strikeout rate, but at the same time his control was off; he walked 65 men, his most since 2001. He missed five starts with a muscle problem in his side, which appears to be chronic since he’s missed time in at least the two previous years with the same problem. His worst pitching came when he was hurt.
Hudson actually had some great starts. I’ll define a “great start” as any where innings minus runs are equal to or greater than 7. I count five of those… But three were before the end of May. (His best start was a complete-game shutout of the Astros in mid-April when the Astros were playing very poorly.) He had some catastrophic starts right before he went on the DL. After that, he was rarely great but never failed to give the team a chance to win, never allowing more than four runs.
Hudson’s comparables list (SimScores through Age 29) is full of guys from the last couple of generations whose careers fell off in their early thirties. Most-similar is Jack McDowell, which is disturbing because McDowell’s last good year was at 29. Second is Dennis Leonard (last good year at 30) but third is Mike Mussina, who pitched well at 34 and adequately last year at 36. Of course, Mussina went to Stanford and Hudson went to Auburn; if you want someone smart enough to pitch without his best stuff, take the Stanford guy over the Aubie every time. Other recent comparables are Doug Drabek (last good year at 31), Jack Morris (last good year at 36 but after struggling from 33-35) and Kevin Appier (last really good year at 29 but above-average from 32-34). Wow, this is scary.
Ohhhh Mac….that was a dirty stab at the Aubbies.
Yeah, this was the concern of many when we picked him up, and why I’m glad we didn’t give up Marcus for him. The reality is that we gave up Jorge Sosa(Cruz), Ryan Langerhans(Thomas, who is actually quite obviously worse than Langerhans), and a good pitching prospect(Meyer who pitched in only pitchers park in his minor league time in the ATL farm system, and had immediate health probelms), plus a bunch of money. Would you trade Sosa, Hans, and Chuck James for Barry Zito if we could afford it? Course you would, even though Zito has proven he is no Ace. Hudsons downfall should be quite sudden and “unexpected”. The downside is that injuries led to 90% of his comparables failures, and a nagging injury like the muscle thing is bad fucking news.
Also, don’t be mad that the highest rated recruit Bama ever got never beat Auburn. I mean it’s only 1 recruiting class that last 4 straight, so don’t worry too much about being a Bama fan, I predict that in the next decade you guys will win at least 1 or 2.
I think Hudson is awesome, and I really think he is going to live up to the hype this year. I think last year he showed flashes of greatness, and I fully expect him to have a lot more consistency this year. After tanking in his first playoff start as a Brave, I really admired the guy’s effort in the infamous Game 4. Maybe I am thinking of someone else, but from some comments I recall reading during this whole Leo ordeal, it seems to me like Hudson was not a Leo-lover like so many are. I think the guy is going to thrive without him.
Interesting article on Leo and McDowell…
There was another piece to the Hudson deal that made it work. I criticized it roundly when I didn’t think Schuerholz would commit the money to extend the contract. Zito is only signed through this year. Jorge Sosa is still in arbitration. Langerhans is stuck there for at least 3 more years. A pitching prospect (Chuck James?) would be arbitration eligible for 5 years. All of the age curves (adjusted by position, age of major league entry, level of success) say almost all players have had their best season by 30. Why do you want to pay more money for less productive players? The only outsiders to trade for prospects with any upside are the one or two that WILL make a difference (Like when Arizona got Schilling and Johnson). The difference between Barry Zito and Jorge Sosa for the next 3 years won’t be enough to pay 10 cents for, let alone millions plus players.
Cliff thats a crazy statement and you know it.
I’d take a Lurleen B. Wallace CC grad over an Auburn guy : )
Most of the group wished Leo well in prior threads after he decided to leave, and I’m certainly in that camp. What happens when Perlozzo gets canned after 3 seasons though?
Mac, thanks for the prior post on Mike Remlinger. A terrific pitcher who more often than not came through in high leverage situations.
Thanks also for scaring the crap out of me with your Hudson post. I hope that history doesn’t repeat itself.
I have to agree with Cliff, to some extent. Zito, like Hudson, is no longer a staff ace and must not be treated as such. While, I think Jorge Sosa was mainly a product of luck, overpaying for Zito is not enough of a step up to give away both players and money. And in regards to Hudson, the injury is a serious concern that I dont see going away. I am a massive Tim Hudson fan, but I think Oakland may have known more than they let on when they traded him away. I am sorry to say that his best days are most likely behind him.
Hudson is a good guy. This past Saturday (I was unable to attend), he was signing autographs/doing photo-ops for a Miracle Field. Some local businessowners want to put together a handicapped-accessible baseball field, and Hudson (along with Scott Sullivan, Gabe Gross) put themselves up for an afternoon’s worth of time.
Mac, fear the thumb. But please win a game soon. I’d hate to see #11.
Speaking of winning and thumbs, let’s go Steelers!
I am sorry to say that his best days are most likely behind him.
Whether or not that’s true remains to be seen for at least a couple years, but I’m not sure he isn’t one of the best #2 starters in the NL right now.
zito may not be an “ace” right now. and he did have a bad 04 and first half last year. but I think he’s going be good for a long time. I think he could have a “Smoltz-esque” career. Hopefully without the arm troubles. I’d give up alot for him. Maybe even Marcus (my second-favorite brave)
Hey, this is not about Hudson but,,,speaking of Mussina, if I were a manager, I’d pick him up for starting rotation. He is an inning-eater and a workhorse! I’m sure it is SP’s an ultimate goal. I can’t remember well…. after ’01 WS, I made a translation of Moose’s life for our major fans.(sorry Mooooooose!!!!) I felt an attraction to his personal magnetism and made an exchange with his fan club. So, undoubtedly , he did find favor. I remember he also was popular among the girls who dislike baseball!!!! He is a serious self command guy and takes his own line. I really really wish our Baby Braves follow his example.