I gave it short shrift in the recaps this morning, but Tim Hudson’s return to the Braves is worth a few more words and thoughts.
I didn’t see the game, and even if was televised where I live I probably wouldn’t have watched it due to the 3+ hour rain delay that kicked things off. But friend of CTB tHeMARksMiTh watched it, and he gives us a scouting report:
Sinker — excellent movement and velocity (89 and 90 mph) but relatively poor command;
Cutter/Slider — indistinguishable between the two pitches; sat around 85; little movement and barely noticeable;
Changeup/Splitter — good movement but pretty poor command;
Curveball — didn’t throw it much, but when he did, it was a good one; don’t really remember him throwing it much but he should;
Velocity — very good and around where he was when he left off which is fairly impressive;
Command — not there but was around the plate, and I imagine this will come with time.
The first inning was a bit rough. He left a couple pitches up to Coughlan and Helms, which were hit hard, but he was fine for the rest of the inning. Cantu got jammed but flipped it into center, but it’s worth mentioning that Hudson missed his spot by about three feet. After that, lots of ground balls and few runs. He definitely wasn’t sharp, but I don’t think anyone expected him to be. Still, I was encouraged that the velocity and movement were there.
Fair enough. Command really is the problem for guys coming back from Tommy John surgery, and his lack of command is a continuation of what he was doing on his rehab start. Velocity, surprisingly, tends to come back more quickly. In any event, Hudson’s start was encouraging, even if we can’t expect him to be the difference maker in the wild card race.