Rehab updates: Hudson, Schmidt, and Garcia

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* Seeing game action for the first time
since undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery last August, Tim Hudson
tossed two scoreless innings at high Single-A last night. “I felt
really good,” Hudson said. “The ball felt really good coming out of my
hand and I didn’t have any problems with my arm.”

Barring a setback Hudson could be back in Atlanta at some point next
month and the Braves have plenty of incentive to evaluate his arm with
a $12 million team option or $1 million buyout looming for next season.

* Jason Schmidt hasn’t pitched in the majors since June 16, 2007, but will start for the Dodgers tonight
after posting a 3.65 ERA and 37/14 K/BB ratio in 44.1 innings while
rehabbing his surgically repaired shoulder in the minors. His last
big-league victory came nearly 28 months ago, so don’t expect much.

* Freddy Garcia is scheduled to throw a bullpen session today in front of the White Sox’s brass, at which point he’ll be sent out on a minor-league rehab assignment.

Pirates pitcher Steven Brault sang the National Anthem last night

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Pittsburgh Pirates swingman Steven Brault has a 4.38 ERA in 19 games this year. He also has a music degree and is a professional singer on the side of his baseball gig. He didn’t get into last night’s game against the Brewers as a pitcher, but he did get to use his singing skills.

Specifically, Brault got to sing the National Anthem. And he did an OK job of it too. He’s not Whitney Houston or anything, but he did what all Anthem singers who are not as gifted as Whitney Houston was should do: he kept it straight and businesslike, avoiding unnecessary flourishes:

It’s march, dang it, not a ballad, and it should be treated as such. Unless of course you’re Whitney Houston.