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.

Dallas Keuchel could make season debut on Friday vs. Nationals

Dallas Keuchel
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Braves manager Brian Snitker is hoping recently-signed starter Dallas Keuchel will make his season debut on Friday when the Braves open a 10-game road trip with a three-game set against the Nationals, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. For now, the Braves have not officially named a starter for Friday.

After spending seven months as a free agent, Keuchel finally inked a one-year, $13 million contract with the Braves on June 6. He tossed seven shutout innings with nine strikeouts in his first start with Single-A Rome, then gave up three runs on 11 hits across seven innings for Double-A Mississippi on Saturday.

Last year, his final season with the Astros, Keuchel went 12-11 with a 3.74 ERA and a 153/58 K/BB ratio in 204 2/3 innings. The 31-year-old supposedly worried prospective teams due to his declining strikeout rate.

Keuchel is hoping to continue the Braves’ momentum, as the club has won 9 of its last 10 games and is 12-3 overall in June thus far, building up a 2.5-game lead over the Phillies in the NL East.