Scott Miller of CBSSports.com reports that the Padres are prepared to release second baseman Orlando Hudson if he doesn’t turn things around soon.
Hudson, 34, is batting .156/.191/.200 over his first 46 plate appearances this season. He seems to be losing his job to utility infielder Andy Parrino, who started last night against the Phillies and two out of the three games against the Rockies earlier this week.
Miller speculates that a possible release could coincide with the pending return of Logan Forsythe, who is scheduled to head to extended spring training this weekend after undergoing surgery in March to have the sesamoid bone removed from his left foot.
Releasing Hudson would be a major statement for the thrifty Padres, who have the lowest payroll in the majors at $55.6 million. Hudson is owed $5.5 million this year and a $2 million buyout on his $8 million option for next season. Still, he signed his two-year, $11.5 million deal under former GM Jed Hoyer and has batted just .237/.316/.336 with a .652 OPS over 131 games with San Diego.
The Padres lost their fourth straight game last night and now sit at a major-league worst 3-12 on the young season, so with Hudson on the steady decline and his trade value nil, it might be worth it to bite the bullet while seeing what younger players like Parrino and Forsythe can do.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.
Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.
The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.