UPDATE: The worst news possible. Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic just spoke with Kirk Gibson, and he says that Hudson has a torn UCL. Hudson’s agent says he’s going to get a second opinion, but that’s usually a one-way ticket to Tommy John surgery.
Sorry, Dbacks fans. Sorry, Hudson.
11:11 AM: The Diamondbacks have made up a ton of ground in the National League West over the past month, but they may have to continue their climb without one of their best pitchers.
Daniel Hudson left last night’s start against the Braves in the second inning with what was termed as right forearm tightness. After the game, he told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic that it’s been a lingering issue. His 7.35 ERA would seem to agree with that.
“It’s been sore for the last few starts,” Hudson said of his elbow. “I’ve always had soreness in there. With my arm action, I just kind of figured it came with the territory. It’s been getting progressively worse. I just tried to pitch through it. Tonight it wasn’t happening.”
While Hudson has been pitching through soreness of late, it appears he kept it to himself. Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson didn’t hear anything about a possible issue until last night.
We should know more about the severity of the injury after Hudson goes for an MRI, but the 25-year-old right-hander admitted that he’s “pretty concerned.” He already had a stint on the disabled list earlier this season due to a right shoulder impingement.
The Diamondbacks have summoned left-hander Patrick Corbin to join the team in Atlanta, but it’s not clear if he’ll join the rotation. Trevor Bauer is slated to make his major league debut on Thursday and given the apparent serious nature of Hudson’s injury, he could have a rotation spot even after Joe Saunders returns from a shoulder strain.
The Marlins are intent on adding one of the three best relievers available on the free agent market, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports. Those three, of course, are Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen, and Mark Melancon.
As Ashley noted earlier, Melancon is reportedly fielding multiple four-year offers in excess of $60 million. The price tags for Chapman and Jansen are likely to match or exceed that. The Marlins haven’t typically been eager to whip out the checkbook for free agents but with the bullpen being the name of the game in baseball these days, GM Michael Hill may feel the need to match his rivals.
The Nationals, Giants, Yankees, Cubs, and Dodgers are the teams most often linked to the “big-three” group of relievers, so it won’t be easy for the Marlins.
A.J. Ramos handled the closer’s role for the Marlins this past season and did an admirable job, saving 40 games with a 2.81 ERA and a 73/35 K/BB ratio in 64 innings. There’s no doubt, though, that Chapman, Jansen, or Melancon would represent a significant upgrade in the ninth inning.
C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Reds manager Bryan Price is likely going to use a trio of pitchers in the closer’s role: Raisel Iglesias, Tony Cingrani, and Michael Lorenzen. At RedsFest on Saturday, Price said:
I’d say right now that we have a series of guys that I’m comfortable with in the ninth inning and that would include (Raisel) Iglesias, (Tony) Cingrani and (Michael Lorenzen). Should we stay with this format – which I intend to do – all three of those guys and maybe more could have opportunities in save situations. At this point in time, there’s no defined closer. There are multiple options and I’d like to stick with the philosophy that we’re going to have our multi-inning guys, so we’re going to need multi-closers.
This seems to be part of the new bullpen zeitgeist in which managers are shying away from strictly-defined roles for their relievers. Indians manager Terry Francona’s postseason success using Andrew Miller likely had some degree of influence on Price’s willingness to go with a three-headed giant.
Iglesias started the 2016 season in the Reds’ rotation but missed two months with an injury, then moved to the bullpen in late June. Price put him in the closer’s role down the stretch in September. The right-hander overall finished the season with a 2.53 ERA and an 83/26 K/BB ratio in 78 1/3 innings.
Cingrani battled control issues in his 63 innings of work this past season, finishing with a 4.14 ERA and a 49/37 K/BB ratio. He’s left-handed, though, and gives Price some matchup flexibility in the late innings.
Lorenzen impressed in his first full season as a reliever, ending the year with a 2.88 ERA and a 48/13 K/BB ratio in 50 innings. The right-hander uses a fastball that sits around 96 MPH on average along with a cutter and slider.