Hudson good, but maybe not for long

Daniel Hudson looked like a much different pitcher in his second start than he did in his 2010 MLB debut.  Of course, he threw more sliders in the first inning against the Mariners than he did all day against the Royals, which makes just a little bit of a difference.
There were two sides to the coin, and you can emphasize whichever one suits your mood better.
Bad news: He still walked four.
Hudson was way too careful to the Mariners’ struggling regulars, issuing two walks to Chone Figgins and one apiece to Jack Wilson and Rob Johnson.  Russell Branyan made him pay for his first free pass to Figgins, and hopefully he’ll take that as advice to not walk bad hitters in front of good hitters — even if said good hitter was playing on a bad foot after losing a fight with a table.
Good news: He got a lot of swings and misses.
Hudson lured Seattle hitters into 14 swinging strikes out of his 99 pitches, and even struck out one of baseball’s best contact hitters (Ichiro Suzuki) on his worst pitch (the curveball).  That’s pretty damn good; for a little context, Gavin Floyd is the most missable starter on the Sox at 9.8 percent.  All of his pitches were lively, even if he had a little trouble painting corners.
One could qualify all enthusiasm by saying Hudson faced a bad lineup, and he did what any decent pitcher is supposed to do against Seattle.  The Sox have won both of Hudson’s starts, which is all anybody can ask of a fifth starter, and he shouldered much more of the load this time.  He had to hold the Mariners down through four innings before the Sox could give him a lead, and then we went three more beyond that (I’m giving him credit for the bad hop on Omar Vizquel).
That’s why it’s a little confusing that Joe Cowley says Kenny Williams has offered to move Hudson, as well as anybody else besides Gordon Beckham and Carlos Quentin, in an effort to acquire Adam Dunn.  The rotation has been the Twins’ downfall of late, and the Tigers are losing bodies almost as fast as they’re losing games.  It doesn’t seem like it makes a lot of sense to sap the one strength the Sox hold over the rest of the AL Central, especially with key contracts expiring on the offensive side.
Dunn would be an ideal fit, but I don’t think it makes much sense to sacrifice so much when comparable bats like Luke Scott (fresh off the DL) and Adam LaRoche are available. LaRoche in particular has a history of surging after the All-Star break, and hit .325/.401/.557 for the Braves after a deadline trade with Boston last year.  Atlanta only had to surrender Casey Kotchman.
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Minor league roundup:

  • Louisville 11, Charlotte 2
    • Tyler Flowers went 0-for-2 with two walks and a strikeout.
    • Carlos Torres struck out seven over seven, allowing three runs on eight hits and a walk. One homer.
    • Brent Morel was 1-for-4 with a strikeout.
  • Jacksonville 3, Birmingham 1
    • Charles Leesman was OK: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K.
    • Eduardo Escobar went 1-for-4 with a double, RBI and strikeout.
    • Justin Greene and Christian Marrero both went 0-for-3.
  • Winston-Salem 7, Kinston 3
    • Brandon Short was 2-for-4 with a double and three RBI, striking out once.
    • Jon Gilmore doubled and drew three walks over five PAs.
    • Jose Martinez went 1-for-4 with a single, walk and strikeout.
    • Stephen Sauer worked around six hits and six walks over seven innings, allowing just three runs. He struck out four.
  • Elizabethton 6, Bristol 0
    • Matthew Heidenreich allowed two earned runs (out of five) on four hits and two walks over five innings, striking out six.
    • Daniel Black went 1-for-3 with a double and a walk.
    • Rangel Ravelo was 0-for-3.
  • Idaho Falls 4, Great Falls 3 (10 innings)
    • Thomas Royse struck out seven with no walks over six innings, allowing three runs on four hits.
    • Andy Wilkins and Ross Wilson went 1-for-5, with Wilson striking out three times.
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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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blacksox56

Glad to see the game turnaround for Hudson. Fell asleep before the 5th started, he does struggle to throw first pitch strikes consistently I noticed. Let’s hope this starts a sweep of Seattle and Oakland.

David

As much as Ozzie is stuck with the players on his roster, I think it’s indefensible that Kotsay bats 5th regardless of Quentin’s injury status. While everyone can’t hit 9th, we have approx. 3 hitters in each lineup that deserve to, Kotsay should not be in the upper 2/3’s of the lineup if he has to be in at all.
How about moving Beckham up? I don’t think it’s too reactive to say his slump is over considering his plate approach, swing and results. He’s hitting the ball HARD in all directions.
As for trade opps., I think Kenny is smart enough to not move Hudson. If Peavy was healthy, I’d consider in a package for Dunn or Fielder. We need Hudson in the rotation more than we need a power lefty stick.
The Daily Herald reported Rizzo would do Dayan and prospects and depending on who those “prospects” are I think that’s doable. Not impressed with Dayan’s sustainability considering his walk rate thus far and minor league track record. Ummm and his defense.
I’m torn about Fielder (2 years of control) vs. Dunn (walk year). I could go either way.

bigfun

Fielder is under control for less than a year and a half from now. Dunn will command a much smaller prospect haul if the Sox go that route. Fielder is the worst-case scenario.

Shinons

Fielder’s also represented by Boras and has a max shelf life of three more years, depending on his distance to a Golden Corral.
Dunn’s apparently looking like a pretty tough catch too though:
http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/rumors/post/White-Sox-still-after-Nationals-Adam-Dunn;_ylt=Arot8jCYpComBGFQL1e9t7mFCLcF?urn=mlb,257001

soxfan1

Let’s hold onto Hudson!!! Dunn is only signed for this year. I agree with Jim. We should go after a Scott or LaRoche. How about Wigginton??

chisoxt

Forget…Kenny has shown in the past that he will mortgage anything to win now and to bloat his huge ego.
And I say that if and when Dunn does comes here, he will be a total flop. I do not have a lot of confidence in mercenaries coming from non-contenders in the other league.
I hope that this time around, Kenny’s ego does not get the better of him as it did with peavy last eyar.

soxfan1

Right on chisoxt!!

eddystankysghost

I agree the Peavey deal hasn’t exactly been a game-changer for the Sox in the near term, and long-term Richard, Russell, and Poreda are certainly going to contribute more as a whole than Peavey to their team. YTD, Richard alone has already matched or bettered Peavey, and he’s a left-hander to boot, and-bonus time!-not out for the season, but come on.
Your sweeping KW the Ego the Ate the Sox statement needs a track record rather than a single transaction. Who else you got, Chris Young? Geo Gonzalez? Brandon McCarthy?

chisoxt

Fair enough, Eddy….
I go back to 2000 prior to the winter meetings after Kenny was promoted to GM…He wanted to make a deal to show the baseball world that he meant business. So to that end, we received from Pittsburgh, a middle of the road starter, Todd Ritchie for two very serviceable starters, Kip Wells and Josh Fogg. Ritche was a huge disaster the next couple of years, and meanwhile, the Sox over the next three years could not trot out a competent fifth starter to save their lives. Both of those guys may not have been world beaters with the Sox, but I would have bet that either would have been a huge upgrade over the clown car of fifth starters that we suffered through. That IMO, cost us a divisional title in 2003.
How about both ends of the Nick Swisher deal? Or, committing a huge contract to Scott Linebrink?
Look, I give Kenny a lot of credit for what he does, but my perception of him is far different that what the fans, media or even Kenny himself perceive. That perception is that Kenny is so much better at making the smaller, under the radar deals than he is at making the big ones. If you dissect the moves made prior to both the world championship year of 2005, and the divisional title year of 2008, you will see what I mean.
Stay away from the light, Kenny and don’t listen to the meatheads… Stick to the smaller deals that you’re better at anyway…

blah

Trading for Thome, both Freddy Garcia trades, trading Carlos Lee away, and even the Vazquez trade worked out.
I know what you mean with the smaller deals, but the truth is Kenny catches lightening in a bottle. Loaiza, Pods, Dye, Iguchi, those deals all worked out yes, but there are so many that didn’t. Erstad, Jones, Bartolo (the 2nd time), Cintron, Aardsma, Nelson, Riske, etc. all ended up flopping.

eddystankysghost

The Ritchie trade may not turn out as poorly for the Sox as the Peavy, actually. He’s not unwilling to take risks, but I’m not ready to attribute the impulse to a “huge” ego.
You gotta admit, there’s another ’09 deal that’s looking pretty good, involving their starting center fielder (a problem position for them for a while). Maybe that’s one of the outside-the-margins transactions to which you reference as “smaller deals”. If so, I agree.

bigfun

Ty Wigginton:
March/April: .308/.395/.631
May: .276/.353/.524
June: .209/.303/.291
July: .194/.242/.242
We already have an Andruw Jones.

knoxfire30

Im with you on this one jim, when peavy was healthy hudson was expendable but not anymore, we are still in uncharted waters with the new freddy garcia who knows if his arm will or wont fall off and as much as danks, floyd and mb have been horses anything could happen, we need these five starters we are just to thin organizationally to surrender any one of them right now
lets make a play for larosche his 2nd half numbers are undeniable

knoxfire30

Side note, when was the last time a team finished last in their division but had a winning record vs their own division, cleveland is 19-17 vs the central but in dead last… very very odd

Shinons

True. Let’s send Manny Acta a fruit basket for the way they’ve taken care of the Tigers this weekend, and now the Twins…

Shinons

In Hudson’s four big league starts he’s walked: 4 in 5 innings, 5 in 6 innings, 3 in 4 innings, and 4 in 6 innings. Seems to me that once he gets a little more comfortable out there, those numbers are going to improve. I’m feeling pretty good about him as a bottom of the rotation starter, much better than some of the options on the market right now…

ricksch

Here’s what I don’t get about the Dunn deal. The Nats lose him at the end of the year. They are going nowhere this year, clearly, and are on the hook for several more millions for Dunn this year. How the hell does dumping this guy’s salary get them two great prospects or one young guy already playing in the league? Screw them and let them end up with nothing at the end of the year. Kenny would be a fool to offer anything substantial for a rent-a-player. What’s it going to take to get Scott or LaRoche? I think they will produce just as much as Dunn. As much as I hate the smell of Kotsay around the team, Kenny ought to hold ’em if the right deal doesn’t come to us. Another arm would be great to back up our five, but again, I wouldn’t trade a big chip for a rental.

bigfun

They don’t end up with nothing. Dunn will almost certainly be a Type A free agent, which means the Nats will get two extra high-round draft picks when they offer him arbitration and he refuses and signs somewhere else. Those picks are very valuable.

chisoxt

Remember, the Nats tried to ransom Alfonso Soriano at the trade deadline and ended up with nothing after overplaying that card, so there is precedent from this organization for being stubborn.

bigfun

I guess I can’t stress this enough – they didn’t “end up with nothing” that time either. They got two top draft picks from the Cubs. That’s how Type A free agency works.

chisoxt

Therein lies the problem with sandwich draft picks and the White Sox…Our organization is not set up to find the ‘diamond in the rough’ prospects that would likely be found as the 30th to 40th picks in the amateur draft. Whereas an organization like the Twins can make something of these later picks, for the Sox, it would just be a waste of time.

bigfun

Well, the only sandwich pick the Sox have had in recent years was Phegley, who I think was a solid pick. But it doesn’t matter how the Sox approach those picks. They’re very valuable to a team like the Nationals that needs to draft aggressively to build a supporting cast for a potential contending team led by Strasburg and Harper.

ricksch

Fine, draft picks ar better than “nothin” but that seems like a world apart from the Nats reported asking price of Beckham — who even if he’s fallen off this year, would still be highly coveted by any team for his low salary and high upside. Hudson is, at the very least, major league ready and has already moved through several key levesls of development. How many draft picks is a guy like Hudson worth?

bigfun

As far as specific trade possibilities go, don’t put too much credence in what you’re reading as the deadline. The majority of it is just empty rumors, trial balloons, and flat-out fabrications.
Hudson plus a few spare parts would be a reasonable trade for Dunn (although like others here I would probably rather keep Hudson).

ricksch

I think Hudson with spare parts or whatever parts would be an incredibly unreasonable trade (and that’s not just my homer perspective talking) Any GM would be braindead to jettison a young starting pitcher who has shown through five ML starts he can at least do the job — a guy who is locked up for years at a minimal salary and who would appear to have a reasonably good upside. Even if you had to send Hudson down for another stint, he’s still worth more than a two-month rental — unless it’s Cliff Lee.
It’s clear Dunn is staying in D.C.. If Kenny offers Hudson for him he’ll be run out of town, but I really don’t think he or any other decent GM would do that. Dunn may be worth a Flowers and Morel combined — but that would be my top offer.

stopdrop8

Thank you Jim, that’s exactly the way I feel. The idea of trading Hudson for dunn scares the hell out of me.

duke

Add me as a guy who doesn’t want to trade Hudson now that Peavy is out.

phastphil

I like Hudson’s ball movement. Living in the Pacific NW last night was my first time seeing him of the TV machine. Location, location, location – most of his screw-up were when he didn’t put it where Pierzynski wanted it.

sars

that play alexei made sucked!