Incredibly enough, the Padres have scored 43 runs in their last four games. Still, they’re giving Orlando Hudson his first career start in the cleanup spot Tuesday against the Mets.
Never in his life has Hudson batted from the fourth spot in the order, even in his appearances off the bench. His previous 1,165 starts break down like this:
Batting 2nd: 414
Batting 3rd: 239
Batting 8th: 193
Batting 7th: 144
Batting 9th: 82
Batting 6th: 53
Batting 1st: 23
Batting 5th: 17
Batting 4th: 0
Hudson brings a .239/.332/.320 line, three homers and 27 RBI in 259 at-bats with him into tonight’s game. That the Mets are throwing a left-hander in Chris Capuano is undoubtedly part of the reason Bud Black has decided to hit Hudson fourth tonight. All three of the switch-hitter’s homers have come against southpaws, and his slugging percentage skyrockets to .386 when he’s batting from the right side.
If it were up to him, Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson would finish the remainder of his career in Toronto. In fact, he’d be “ticked pink” if the club decided to sign him to a long-term deal. Whether the Blue Jays share that sentiment is still unclear, as Donaldson said Saturday that the team has yet to engage his agent in extension talks.
“I’ve said that I wanted to be here,” he told MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm. “That’s pretty much all I can say. I’m not the one who makes the decisions, nor would I try to put them in the position to do that. Like I said, I believe the situation will become more fluid when the time is right.”
That doesn’t necessarily mean an extension is out of the question. The Blue Jays reached an unprecedented one-year, $23 million agreement with the three-time All-Star in arbitration, and have been reticent to field trade offers despite continued interest from the Cardinals this winter.
Donaldson, 32, is poised to enter his eighth season in the majors and fourth with the Blue Jays. In 2017, he batted .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs and a .944 OPS in 496 plate appearances, ranking sixth among all major league third baseman with 5.0 fWAR. He’s scheduled to enter free agency following the 2018 season.