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.
With a 6-1 win over the Twins in Sunday’s season finale, the Royals clinched the best record in the American League, which nets them home field advantage in the ALDS and ALCS. The Royals stand at 95-67 while the Blue Jays, who lost on Sunday, finish at 93-69.
95-67 is the Royals’ best record since finishing 97-65 in 1980, when they lost the World Series to the Phillies. Their division title is their first since 1985.
In the ALDS, which starts on Thursday, the Royals will host the winner of the AL Wild Card game between the Astros and Yankees. They are looking to avenge last year’s World Series loss, in seven games, to the Giants. The Blue Jays will host the Rangers in the other ALDS series.
Both the Astros’ and the Yankees’ fates were decided before their own games had completed on Sunday. The Rangers defeated the Angels, which clinched a Wild Card spot for the Astros. Then the Astros dropped Sunday’s season finale to the Diamondbacks, which clinched the first AL Wild Card slot for the Yankees. The Yankees are on their way to a loss against the Orioles as of this writing, but that will not affect anything now.
The Astros were in a 3-3 tie with the Diamondbacks in the seventh inning, but reliever Chad Qualls served up a two-run home run to Paul Goldschmidt. That would prove to be the deciding factor in a 5-3 loss.
The Yankees are losing 7-4 to the Orioles behind a subpar start by Michael Pineda and a shaky performance by the bullpen.
The MLB postseason opens up with the Yankees hosting the Astros on Tuesday in the AL Wild Card game. The winner moves on to face the Royals in Kansas City in the ALDS.