Tim Hudson writes letter to say thanks to the Braves and Atlanta

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Here’s a really nice gesture from veteran right-hander Tim Hudson, who left the Braves earlier this week when he agreed to a two-year, $23 million contract with the Giants.

Hudson decided to submit a letter to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in order to say thanks to the Braves and the fans for making him and his family feel welcome during his nine seasons in Atlanta. The entire letter is not free — you’ll find it behind a paywall — but feel free to read a couple of paragraphs below.

“When I was traded from the Oakland A’s to the Atlanta Braves before the 2005 season, a childhood dream was realized.  I grew up a Braves fan just a few hours south of Atlanta, and it was hard for me to believe that I was going to actually play for the Atlanta Braves and legendary manager Bobby Cox.  My family was young.  We had a toddler (Kennedie), a baby (Tess), and a baby on the way (Kade).  We were welcomed into the Braves organization with open arms.  Our son was born two weeks into my first season, and our journey began.  The Atlanta Braves are really all that our children know about this crazy baseball life, and we are so thankful for this upbringing for them.”

“And to the city of Atlanta and the amazing fans in all of Braves country…my deepest thanks.  Braves fans are one-of-a-kind.  Your passion to win comes close to equaling that of the players that go out on the field each and every game.  But when the team goes through rough patches, you’re there to encourage and cheer and believe that things will turn around.  In my 9 seasons, we definitely had some very high moments and some extremely disappointing moments.  But one thing that I learned is this – once a Braves fan, always a Braves fan. No matter what.  And as a player, that means more than you could understand.”

Classy stuff. Hudson has strong ties to Georgia and Alabama, so he’ll surely continue to have a presence in the area.

Hudson went 113-72 with a 3.56 ERA during his time with the Braves. He made one All-Star appearance in 2010.

Dave Roberts: It “doesn’t make sense” for Scott Kazmir to start year in Dodgers’ rotation

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Scott Kazmir won’t begin the regular season in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Manager Dave Roberts said after Kazmir’s Cactus League outing on Sunday that it “doesn’t make sense” for the ailing Kazmir to break camp in the rotation, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. The lefty will instead rehab some more and join the rotation at a later time.

Kazmir has been battling a hip issue which has caused his mechanics to suffer. He was clocked in the low 80’s 10 days ago and wasn’t much better on Sunday afternoon.

Last season with the Dodgers, Kazmir posted a 4.56 ERA with a 134/52 K/BB ratio in 136 1/3 innings, his worst numbers since returning to the majors in 2013.

Robert Gsellman wins spot in Mets’ rotation

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that Robert Gsellman has won the No. 4 spot in the Mets’ starting rotation. He adds that the Mets are likely to play things cautiously with lefty Steven Matz. The fifth and final rotation spot will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo.

Gsellman, 23, has had a great spring. The right-hander has allowed three earned runs on 15 hits and four walks with nine strikeouts in 17 1/3 innings. That is on the heels of seven solid starts at the end of the 2016 season during which he yielded 12 earned runs on 40 hits and 12 walks with 40 strikeouts in 41 innings.

Matz, 25, is dealing with irritation in his left elbow. He had surgery in October to remove a bone spur and was a Tommy John patient several years ago. It sounds like the Mets are leaning towards having him start the season on the disabled list.

Wheeler, 26, isn’t having a great spring. He’s surrendered seven runs in 7 1/3 innings. Lugo has given up three earned runs in seven spring innings and also looked solid in the World Baseball Classic although he took the loss in the final against the United States.