Padres release Orlando Hudson, place Jason Bartlett on DL

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It seems like just yesterday I was writing about how odd it was that Orlando Hudson had five triples and zero doubles this season. And now he’s out of a job.

San Diego released the veteran second baseman after Hudson hit just .211 with a .260 on-base percentage and .317 slugging percentage in 35 games despite those league-leading five triples.

He wasn’t a whole lot better last season, hitting .246 with seven homers and a .681 OPS in 119 games to snap a streak of nine straight seasons with an OPS above .700.

At age 34 he may simply be washed up and there was almost zero chance of Hudson being claimed off waivers thanks to his $5.5 million salary this season and $8 million team option or $2 million buyout for 2013. However, now that the Padres have released Hudson and eaten his contract it wouldn’t be shocking to see a contender (the veteran-loving Giants, perhaps?) snatch him up on the cheap.

Hudson repeatedly had trouble securing multi-year deals as a free agent until the Padres surprisingly handed him a two-year, $11.5 million contract in December of 2010, and he ended up giving them 154 games of a .657 OPS for the investment.

UPDATE: San Diego will have a completely new double-play duo, as the Padres also placed struggling shortstop Jason Bartlett on the disabled list with a strained knee. Everth Cabrera, who was stuck in the minors after being arrested this spring, and Alexi Amarista, who was acquired from the Angels for Ernesto Frieri recently, were called up from Triple-A and figure to see most of the middle infield action.

Phillies walk off winners thanks to a poor decision by Marcell Ozuna

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The Phillies’ bullpen, which has not been good as of late, gift-wrapped Monday’s game for the Cardinals. Starter Nick Pivetta was brilliant, fanning 13 while allowing two runs in 7 1/3 innings. But things unraveled after he left the game. Victor Arano took over for Edubray Ramos to start the ninth inning with the Phillies leading 4-2, but he allowed a one-out single and a double. After striking out Harrison Bader, Arano appeared to strike out Yairo Munoz for the final out of the game, but the ball trickled through the legs of catcher Andrew Knapp, allowing a run to score and the tying run to move to third base. Lefty Adam Morgan came in to face pinch-hitter Kolten Wong. Wong tied the game up, sneaking a single into center field.

In the 10th inning, Jake Thompson gave up the go-ahead run on a leadoff home run to Tommy Pham. It seemed like it was just going to be another one of those losses that have become increasingly common for the Phillies lately. But the Phillies’ offense didn’t go down quietly, even though it hadn’t put a runner on second base since the start of the second inning when J.P. Crawford doubled. In the bottom half of the 10th, Hoskins blooped a single into shallow left-center to start the inning. Hoskins moved to second base on a ground out from Odubel Herrera. Matt Bowman intentionally walked Carlos Santana, then struck out Jesmuel Valentin. That brought up Aaron Altherr, who replaced Nick Williams after Williams took a baseball to the face off of the right field fence. Bowman fell behind 2-1, then threw a 90 MPH fastball that Altherr lined into left field. Rather than keep the ball in front of him, Marcell Ozuna decided to dive for the ball to make the final out, but he missed. The ball trickled past him, allowing the tying and the game-winning runs to score, giving the Phillies a come-from-behind win.

On the list of people happy to see Ozuna miss that ball are Altherr (of course), Arano, Morgan, and Thompson. But perhaps no one was happier than manager Gape Kapler. The win might help take the heat off of him somewhat after another poor performance from the bullpen. When a team struggles, everyone wants a scapegoat and Kapler is an easy target. He has been all year, undeservingly.

Phillies radio broadcaster and former major league reliever Larry Anderson said after the bullpen meltown, “Not everybody can pitch in the ninth inning. And I know Gabe Kapler thinks they can, but they can’t.” Aside from Ramos and Seranthony Dominguez (who was unavailable after throwing 52 pitches between Saturday and Sunday in Milwaukee), no one in that bullpen has been reliable. The closer, Hector Neris, just got optioned to Triple-A. You work with what you have, and right now, Kapler doesn’t have a whole lot. Thankfully for him, he wasn’t punished with another loss thanks to Ozuna.