After throwing 101 pitches in his fourth and final minor-league rehab start Tim Hudson has been cleared to return from back surgery and the 36-year-old will rejoin the Braves’ rotation Sunday versus the Pirates.
Hudson underwent surgery in November and will slide into the rotation spot created by the Braves demoting Jair Jurrjens to Triple-A earlier this week.
He posted a 3.57 ERA while rehabbing and held minor-league hitters to a .190 batting average, but also had a poor 9/6 K/BB ratio in 10.2 innings. In terms of workload Hudson should be fully stretched out and able to start without any restrictions.
Because of Jurrjens’ demotion rookie Randall Delgado will remain in the rotation as the Braves’ fifth starter.
Giants reliever Hunter Strickland has been activated from the 60-day disabled list, the club announced Saturday. In a corresponding move, third baseman Pablo Sandoval was shifted to the 60-day disabled list, where he’ll remain for the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on his right hamstring. Right-handed reliever Dereck Rodriguez has also been placed on the 10-day disabled list after suffering a hamstring strain during Tuesday’s brawl against the Dodgers.
Strickland, 29, had been shelved with a fractured right hand since mid-June. The right-hander sustained the injury after punching a door and underwent surgery to repair the fifth metacarpal in his pitching hand. He only missed the minimum after making a speedy recovery, however, and finished his recent rehab stint with 5 2/3 innings of two-run, 10-strikeout ball for the Giants’ rookie, High-A and Triple-A affiliates.
Prior to the incident, Strickland logged 13 saves in 28 opportunities with a 2.84 ERA, 3.7 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 in 34 appearances. According to comments from club skipper Bruce Bochy, the Giants don’t plan on wasting any time before deploying their former closer, but will make him available in high-leverage situations as soon as possible. It’s worth noting, too, that the team still has a viable closer in lefty reliever Will Smith, who picked up 10 saves and engineered a 3.10 ERA, 1.8 BB/9 and 12.8 SO/9 in 20 1/3 innings since Strickland landed on the DL this summer.