Tim Hudson

To expand on statements I’ve made in comments… Tim Hudson went 13-12 with a 4.86 ERA in 2006 after going 14-9 with a 3.52 ERA in his first Atlanta season. However, his peripheral statistics in 2006 are actually probably a little stronger on balance; his strikeout rate was up, though he allowed a few more homers, his walks steady. To me, the statistical picture doesn’t explain the gigantic rise in ERA, which argues that the reason for his collapse were two, closely related, concepts: (1) defense, and (2) luck. He had good defense and got lucky in 2005, and had bad defense and was unlucky in 2006. The single biggest element of this is the difference between Rafael Furcal and Edgar Renteria, the second Marcus Giles’ defensive decline. The former is still going to be a problem in 2007; the latter doesn’t seem likely to improve with second base in the hands of a neophyte.

Anyway, Hudson, who throughout his career has been a far above-average pitcher at his worst, was well below-average last year. Some rebound should be expected even if the defense doesn’t improve, because he had a lot of bad luck. He has arrested the decline in his strikeout rate from his Oakland days, though it’s still not up near his peak level; his control is no longer a major strength but doesn’t appear to be a weakness. For the first time since 2001 he made 35 starts. I think he will be a solid #3 or #4 type starter for the next 2-3 years, but that’s not what the Braves are paying for. If he gets hot, I would dump him.

Tim Hudson Statistics – Baseball-Reference.com

77 thoughts on “Tim Hudson”

  1. That sums up exactly what I think about Huddy. Hope the ball bounces his way for 1/2-season and find a trade partner.

  2. It seemed like he collapsed after the 6th last year. He would be brilliant for 6 innings and then after that he sucked. Was it just that he kept getting unlucky after the 6th or is there something to that?

  3. I’m with you, reaganman. With next season’s bullpen, there should be no reason to leave him in after 5 or 6 innings.

  4. If huddy has a great first half, I think the organization will look at that as a positive to keep. I don’t think they’ll trade him is he is lights out. I guess I’m saying that partly because I think if he pitches very good, then we will be right in the mix for a playoff spot. If somehow he pitches great and we suck, then I could see us moving him.

  5. i think Hudson will be here for the duration of his contract. Yeah, he’s being paid good money for not the best results, but if he turns the corner to even be a solid #3 then his contract isn’t completly ridiculous compared to what other guys got during the offseason. Plus i don’t really see anyone giving us much in return for him.

  6. According to the AJC, Hudson has embarked on a strengthening program to improve his stamina which might help in the later innings. He certainly had his share of bad luck, but what he couldn’t do, which the Big 3 were always able to, was “damage control” as Don Sutton called it. It seemed like whenever he had a chance to get out of an inning with one or two runs, something would happen and he would give up four or five. The defense was certainly a culprit, but, according to the article, his fastball, which topped out at 94-95, was down to 90. That makes a big difference. So you can’t attribute all of his problems to bad luck and bad defense. But given that his contract now looks relatively reasonable, if he becomes a solid number 3, that might be ok.

  7. Personally, I think Huddy will be a big winner this year because of a stronger bullpen. If I remember right, he always pitched well for about five or six innings and had nothing after that. I think Huddy will have a fine year.

  8. The good thing is, no matter how well or how poorly Huddy pitches, he’s being paid like Gil Meche. If he gets even semi-hot, there will be trading partners lined up outside the door.

  9. But who’s going to replace him? Everyone just says “Oh, we have to trade him if he’s hot!”, but has anyone even considered that there would be anyone stupid enough to give us a quality #3 starter in return? Because there sure isn’t anyone that’s ready in the minors.

    I’m sensing a secret desire for Lance Cormier to start. :P

  10. I think you forget that at the price we’re paying, he’s a bargin regardless. The Dodgers paid as much for Wolf as we’re paying Hudson…and I’d take Hudson over wolf any day. Husdon’s worst year is better than Wolf’s best.

  11. IMO, the only way Hudson gets traded during the season is if he is having a good year, the rest of the rotation is doing okay (ie, we have some rotational depth), and the Braves are doing poorly overall. Oh, and I think we’d have to be getting a younger, more raw starter in the deal.

    If there are problems with other starters, it doesn’t make sense to trade away one of your few good ones. If Hudson is doing poorly, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a suitor to deal him to (although he would certainly do better on a team with better infield defense). And the biggest need in trade seems to me like it would be at SP.

    Most of all, if the rotation is doing well, I see the Braves having a very good season. So I really don’t think Hudson will be dealt. Sure, there are other places he’d probably do better, but I think he’ll do okay this year. Not an ERA below 3.50, but certainly below 4.00 is possible. If he tosses 200 innings with an ERA around 4.00, I’ll be very pleased.

  12. Hudson did bad, but that’s no reason to dump on him now. Unless someone is ready to give a prime pitching prospect who can get his feet wet as a #5, or an instant starter (just add water), for Hudson, that would be throwing away the rest of the season.

    A half-season with Lance Cormier starting? I don’t even want to think about that.

  13. I root for Hudson big-time, always did—even when he was with Oakland. When he’s on, he’s a joy to watch. Unfortunately, he haven’t had the Oakland Huddy. Glimpses, yes, but not the full package.

    Re: The Notion of Dumping Him.
    I think Hudson’s status will also be determined by the Braves status in the standings. Again, if he’s dealt, where does that leave the Braves? And, of course, what comes in return?

    I understand dumping a salary, esp. if a cheaper guy can come in, eat some innings, pitch .500 ball with a 4.86 ERA.

    We have to believe Hudson can do better than that this year. If not, he’s stealing money.

  14. I guess it all comes down to how the team is playing. He will be a valuable trade piece if our team is stinking it up and will be relatively inexpensive pitcher to keep if our team is contending.

  15. Replacing Hudson, and his talent is something that the team will have to consider if its truely a salary dump. After next season we could not have smoltz, hampton will be in his last season, and we’ll have only James and Davies….As much as salaries are going for we shouldn’t just give a quality starter like tim away even for a modest gain in finances. This is also the reason why I’m glad we didn’t dump Tim for Glavine considering what Glav could give us would’ve been less than Tim anyway and for a shorter amount of time….

  16. Guys, it’s not ill-will or dumping on Huddy to support trading him if we’ve got good suitors. I like Huddy a lot and certainly root for him to have a huge comeback year. But let’s face it, his contract is structured so as to make a trade very attractive from the Braves’ perspective. He’ll go from $4m in 2006 and $6m in 2007 to $13m in each of 2008-2009. That’s not chump change for the Braves, especially if they’re thinking about signing Andruw. Sure, the Braves would pay more for less on the FA market for a replacement SP, but they probably won’t be in the FA market for a SP.

  17. I think JoshQ has it about right. We only trade Hudson if he’s pitching well (or really well) and the rest of the team is stinking it up. After all, if he gets hot and the team is hot as well, why would we trade him? Weaken the team on the chance that he gets worse and weakens the team (seems like a self-fulfilling prophecy)? And if he stinks, then nobody will want him (or at least no one will want to pay for him). Moreover, as others have mentioned, we don’t have a minor league system full of starters that could replace him. For my part, I hope that he is great and that the Braves are as well.

  18. ububba just likes him because he’s a Columbus guy.

    I like him, too, though. Tony Pena, Jr. should start when he does.

  19. Well there is no way Andruw, Hampton, Huddy, and Smoltz can all stay for the 08 roster. I say we hope for Hampton and Hudson both have great years, then try and move Hampton and Andruw if they’ll allow it. Try getting another year or two out of Smoltz and hopefully Huddy can become a good #2 or #3 again.

  20. What I saw of Huddy last year troubled me. He had consistant difficulty keeping the ball down in the zone all season. I believe that Mac even commented on this; positing that he was perhaps playing hurt. I agree that he was subject to Renty’s poor D, but he was also much more hittable. I think the decrease in control was much more damaging than the lower velocity.
    I agree with Marc Schneider: He does not handle pressure well. Unless he has his old Oakland stuff and is throwing 4 hit ball, he seems to have trouble getting out of jams.
    I don’t think we should trade him though. All in all he’s disciplined, reasonably durable and a legit #3 or #4. I don’t think he’ll ever be the pitcher that he was, but he’s still a bargin in this market.

  21. We all know Bobby will not start Tony Pena Jr. once every five days, but it would be nice to see him occassionally rest Renteria on the days Hudson takes the mound. This is assumming, of course, that Tony Pena Jr will be on the 25 man roster.

  22. Hudson absolutely had no control over his slider and most of the times, it didnt even bite. Thats one of the reasons lefties beat him like a rented mule.
    I think he will bounce back, and I think we should trade him at the end of the year.
    Who steps in? someone will, harrison/Reyes, Lerew even. I am sick of the oh his ball moves so much but always finds the goddamn middle of the bat

  23. And from AJC blogs, supposedly Bobby really digs Matt Harrison, and might even try him as a 5th starter as soon as this year.
    Do you hear the footsteps behind you, Mr.Davies?

  24. Movement is much more important than raw velocity; a guy that throws 90 with good movement is much more difficult to hit than someone throwing 98 without movement. But velocity does make a difference and it affects control too. I suspect one of the reasons Hudson’s control hasn’t been as good as earlier in his career is that he knows he isn’t throwing as hard so he tries to be too fine. As a matter of fact, I suspect that these so-called mechanics problems, to the extent they exist, came about because Hudson was trying too hard to compensate for the loss in velocity. I am very skeptical that someone can regain lost velocity (although Roger Clemens, ahem, seems to have done so). That doesn’t mean Hudson still can’t be a good pitcher, but he is going to have to accept the fact that he can’t do the things he once did and adapt his game accordingly.

  25. The first and second half splits don’t offer any real encouragement. However, his walks and hits went down in the second half while his ERA went way up. His record improved significantly in the 2nd half, too.

  26. I agree Tony Pena Jr should start when Hudson starts, and I’d throw him in there when Hampton starts as well. Due to them being groundball pitchers, I’d argue he’s worth at least half a run in ERA to both of them.

    And our offense should be good enough to carry a .220-.240 8th place hitter two out of every five days.

    Like someone said earlier, Bobby would never do it, but I’d be interested to see who else thinks Jr. should be in there 2/5 of the time….

  27. Do you guys have that much confidence in TPJ’s defensive ability? I’m not saying he’s not great defensively, but he didn’t show much one way or the other (because of limited PT) to me – maybe I missed it. I’m also a little leery of guys who are great defensively in the minors and come up and make great plays, but also a lot of errors.

    I’m not being argumentative, but I’m just curious as to what you guys base the hope for TPJ’s great range and defense on. I hope you guys are right and agree that we need a lot better defense for a couple of our pitchers to succeed.

  28. Gregor Blanco is on the Dominican team and has hit quite well for them, though with little power.

  29. I think it would be fine to have Tony Pena Jr. playing shortstop on the days that Hampton pitches, as long as Hampton hits in front of him. However, calling Tony Pena a .240 hitter is like calling Henry Blanco a .300 hitter. He couldn’t hit .240 in the minor leagues. He ain’t gonna do it up here.

  30. Alex, L’il TP has actually consistently bested .240 in the minors. Since 2002:

    .249
    .259
    .255
    .249
    .282

    His 2007 PECOTA forecast is .244/.279/.337.

    By way of comparison, Belliard’s lifetime line was .221/.270/.259.

    I’m convinced — I’d rather have L’il TP on the roster than Woodward, which was not my original opinion.

  31. Yeah I’ve seen a few comments now from Bobby Cox praising Matt Harrison. Let’s go with the normal five, and if one of them gets hurt or starts pitching poorly (Davies) than use Harrison. Why not? Much better option than Cormier or Villarreal, I’m glad to see Cox notice a minor leaguer early and not keep forcing Cormier on us.

  32. Sorry Alex! :)

    Speaking of PECOTA, they’ve changed their forecasts for 2007 — something about making an additional defensive adjustment. If you think that can only be bad news for the Braves pitchers, well, you’re right. Here are their original, then adjusted, ERA estimates:

    Smoltz: 3.70 to 3.87
    Hudson: 4.21 to 4.39
    James: 4.39 to 4.63
    Hampton: 5.32 to 5.52
    Davies: 4.97 to 5.14

    I think they’re too bearish on Smoltz and James, but the other numbers wouldn’t surprise me at all. Odd, though, that the largest jump from the “defensive adjustment” was by James, who is the least dependent on his defense.

  33. Good call, Godot.

    I don’t think it’s controversial to say that infield defense is significantly more important than outfield defense, so I would have expected a greater variation among those pitchers who rely on infield defense.

  34. James’ peripherals last year don’t match his ERA. Most projection systems look at the peripherals. In my opinion, James is such an extreme fly ball pitcher that his peripherals may not tell the whole story.

    I guess that BP is considering the difference between Langerhans and Diaz (I know, but he had good stats) and Wilson.

  35. I have an odd confidence in Chuck James. He reminds me of Fred Norman or Tom Browning, but with more K’s. I just hope he doesn’t give up 50 HRs.

    Stu,
    Huddy was born in Columbus, but he’s really a Phenix City guy, went to high school there (Glenwood) & JC (Chattahoochee Valley Community College, where Chuck James also attended). And, of course, he’s a War Eagle. So the Alabama people have claim, I guess.

    Odd celeb sightings in the past 24 hours: My last night in Panama City, we go to a restaurant in the Casco Viejo section & there’s Jenna Bush (the “first daughter,” the blonde one) with a small cadre of Secret Service, but no real fuss.

    Today, I get to the PTY airport, stop in for a bite before the flight & there’s Jeremy Shockey at the next table. He starts talking to these 3 Latin guys at another table & asks one of them about his ring. One of the guys says, “That’s a 1995 World Series ring, when I was with the Braves.” I look him up and down & decide he’s a scout—’cause he damn-sure wasn’t a player of recent era. He says, “I’m working for the Pirates now, but he’s with the Braves,” and he points to one of the other guys at the table.

    I could give a damn about Shockey—who, yes, is a tattooed moose and, yes, was very nice to everyone who asked for an autograph, etc.—but I wanted to talk to these baseball guys! Unfortunately, they’d paid their bill & they were off before I could engage them.

    I get into Miami for a 3-hour stopover & it’s Super Bowl crazy at the airport. Loads of Bears fans whooping it up in the terminals. Talked to a few of them in the bar; they seemed pretty realistic considering we’re talking Peyton vs. Rex.

    FWIW, I’ll go Indy 31, Chi 24.

  36. I’m getting some pretty good action asking for Chicago and 10. Try it out, and thank me later!

  37. I’ll say the same thing I said last year about Hudson…

    The better Hudson does this season, the better the Braves will do. If Huddy is great, then the Braves will be. If Huddy struggles, the Braves will also struggle.

  38. The PECOTA projections are least accurate on Hampton. From earlier threads, Dr. Andrews sets 100% recovery at 18 months as 90% likely. Based on that, Hampton should be 180 innings (maybe even a few more) at a 4.00 ERA even considering the infield defense.

  39. Except that he hasn’t done any live throwing, while most pitchers would have done some by now. You can’t just come back after all that time off as sharp as you were.

  40. Is there really that much difference in not throwing full strength for 18 months and an offseason? I mean Hampton has been doing some throwing of some kind already and has a full spring training to get sharp. At worst he should have gotten feel back by his second or third start.

  41. Has anyone heard anything about the Braves starting up what used to be Camp Leo? Or did McDowell discontinue it?

    Hampton won’t have a 5.50 ERA. Either he’ll be up to speed and pitching close to a 4.00, or he’ll still be injured and not pitching at all.

    Da Bears 28, Indy 24. Lovie Smith decided not to start the mini-Ditkas because he wants the Super Bowl to be at least slightly competitive.

  42. I read the Braves are not officially having any kind of a pre-spring training throwing session for pitchers, but if a bunch of pitchers show up and McDowell and Cox and maybe some other coaches just happen to show up at the same time, too…wink, wink

    Something about MLB and these voluntary workouts coming across as being not so voluntary. Whatever. I read also that the real Camp Leo will not be meeting this year in Baltimore. I guess working with Daniel Cabrera could do that to you.

  43. I drafted Daniel Cabrera for my fantasy team last year after Peter Gammons predicted he could win 20 games. Hoo boy, I don’t think I’ll be going down THAT particular road again.

  44. wow, i’ve been checking Danny’s blog and there still hasn’t been an announcement.
    maybe he’s still trying to figure out spell check.

  45. Dan has been on the pro eating circuit of late…i’m sure the blog isn’t part of his training.
    speaking of training in the article linked above, chipper apparently canned his trainer and has taken a more lax approach this offseason with his diet as well.
    mickey D’s is his new trainiing partner, maybe Danny and Andrew are on to something.

  46. Hey! Apparently Wonder Boy does acknowledge the fact that such a thing as adjustments exist. From “The Official Site”:

    Looking to cut down on the 132 strikeouts he had in 651 at-bats last year, he’s spent time this offseason working on a stance that has crouching a little more than he has in the past. In addition, he’s worked hard to lessen the movement of his head during his swing.

    Continuing on, however:

    …he says he’s not consciously making a commitment to reduce his aggression level. It’s just something that will come natural[ly] as he evolves…

  47. i know man, i love the guy. i hope for the best and expect the worse.
    what can i say, these are my braves!

  48. Wow, Danny Boy’s appearing on this site again!!! Feel even better to have Wickman, Gonzo, and Soriano!!!

  49. Bwahahahaha. Maybe he’ll be better in Pittsburgh because there isn’t something that’s called “pressue”.

    HAHAHA.

    *ahem* Ok, I’m done.

  50. It’s kind of comforting for Adam LaRoche. He’ll at least have a buddy that he’s played with over there at Pittsburgh. Congrats, Roachy, on being reunited with the Kolbinator.

  51. I just wanted to say hello to all my friends at BravesJournal and let everyone know how excited I am to follow my friend, Dan Kolb, to Pittsburgh.

    Though Dan and I have had an abusive relationship over the years, and I have been seeing a victims’ rights counselor in Milwaukee, Dan has promised to reform his ways, plus, Dan’s good friend Adam LaRoche has promised to look after me in Pittsburgh.

    Good luck to all of my former ‘teammates’ in Atlanta and I hope you are enjoying my replacement, Warren the Watercooler. Peace.

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