Daniel Hudson impresses in Diamondbacks debut

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Arizona sending Edwin Jackson to Chicago for pitching prospects Daniel Hudson and David Holmberg struck me as one of the best moves of the trade deadline and the early returns are certainly encouraging.
Hudson made his Diamondbacks debut yesterday against the Mets and tossed eight innings of one-run ball in a blowout victory, allowing just three hits and one walk in a 110-pitch outing.
Many people doubt whether Hudson’s raw stuff will enable him to be more than a back-of-the-rotation starter or middle reliever in the majors, but his minor-league track record is excellent and I think he’ll do well in Arizona. Plus, even if he proves to be merely a decent fourth or fifth starter Hudson will be far more valuable to the Diamondbacks than Jackson will be for the White Sox.
Jackson has a no-hitter and much better raw stuff than Hudson, yet he has a 5.16 ERA this season and a 4.74 mark for his career. While the White Sox are on the hook to pay him $8.25 million for that mediocre pitching next season, Hudson will be making the minimum salary in Arizona for the next three seasons and will be under team control through 2015.

Must-Click Link: Remembering Eddie Grant the first major leaguer to die in combat

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As you get ready for Memorial Day weekend and whatever it entails for you and yours, take some time to read an excellent article from Mike Bates over at The Hardball Times.

The article is about Eddie Grant. You probably never heard of him. He was a journeyman infielder — often a backup — from 1905 through 1915. If you have heard of him, it was likely not for his baseball exploits, however: it was because he was the first active baseball player to die in combat, killed in the Battle of the Argonne Forest in October 1915.

Michael tells us about more than Grant’s death, however. He provides a great overview of his life and career. And notes that Grant didn’t even have to go to war if he didn’t want to. He was 34, had the chance to coach or manage and had a law degree and the potential to make a lot of money following his baseball career. He volunteered, however, for both patriotic and personal reasons. And it cost him his life.

Must-read stuff indeed. Especially this weekend.

The Indians are unveiling a Frank Robinson statue on Sunday

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The Cleveland Indians will unveil a Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field on Saturday.

Robinson’s tenure in Cleveland was not long, but it was historic. On April 8, 1975, he became the first African-American manager in Major League history. He was a player-manager. One of the last ones, in fact. He spent two years in that role and then a third year — a partial year anyway — as a manager only. Robinson would go on to manage the Giants, Orioles and the Expos/Nationals, compiling a career record of 1065-1176 in 16 seasons. He is now a top MLB executive.

Robinson was, of course, a Hall of Fame player as well, lodging 21 seasons for the Reds, Orioles, Dodgers, Angels and Indians. He won two MVP awards and hit for the Triple Crown in 1966. Overall he hit 586 home runs – 10th all time – and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. For an inner-circle Hall of Famer with that kind of resume he is still, strangely enough, underrated. I guess that happens when your contemporaries are Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Mickey Mantle.

Anyway, congrats to Frank Robinson for yet another well-deserved honor in a career full of them.