UPDATE: The worst news possible. Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic just spoke with Kirk Gibson, and he says that Hudson has a torn UCL. Hudson’s agent says he’s going to get a second opinion, but that’s usually a one-way ticket to Tommy John surgery.
Sorry, Dbacks fans. Sorry, Hudson.
11:11 AM: The Diamondbacks have made up a ton of ground in the National League West over the past month, but they may have to continue their climb without one of their best pitchers.
Daniel Hudson left last night’s start against the Braves in the second inning with what was termed as right forearm tightness. After the game, he told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic that it’s been a lingering issue. His 7.35 ERA would seem to agree with that.
“It’s been sore for the last few starts,” Hudson said of his elbow. “I’ve always had soreness in there. With my arm action, I just kind of figured it came with the territory. It’s been getting progressively worse. I just tried to pitch through it. Tonight it wasn’t happening.”
While Hudson has been pitching through soreness of late, it appears he kept it to himself. Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson didn’t hear anything about a possible issue until last night.
We should know more about the severity of the injury after Hudson goes for an MRI, but the 25-year-old right-hander admitted that he’s “pretty concerned.” He already had a stint on the disabled list earlier this season due to a right shoulder impingement.
The Diamondbacks have summoned left-hander Patrick Corbin to join the team in Atlanta, but it’s not clear if he’ll join the rotation. Trevor Bauer is slated to make his major league debut on Thursday and given the apparent serious nature of Hudson’s injury, he could have a rotation spot even after Joe Saunders returns from a shoulder strain.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Padres will try to get Fernando Tatís Jr. locked up in a long-term deal before the start of the 2020 season.
It’d be a wise move from the team’s perspective, of course. Tatís showed in 2019 that he’s the future of the franchise, hitting .317/.379/.590 with 22 homers and 16 stolen bases through 84 games while playing spectacular defense at short. He was a serious contender for the Rookie of the Year Award before going down to injury and still finished third despite playing just a tad over half a season.
That talent and promise means that, in all likelihood, Tatís stands to make massive money in arbitration and free agency once he gets there. If he gets there, that is. Because as we’ve seen so often in recent years, teams have been aggressive in their efforts to lock up young stars like Tatís, buying out their arbitration and at least a couple of their free agency years. These deals tend to be team-friendly, with multiple team options aimed at getting maximal value out of such players before they hit the open market. Of course, the players get much more up front money than they would in the three seasons in which teams can and do set their salaries unilaterally, usually at less than $1 million per year. It’s a standard now vs. later tradeoff, even if the value of the “now” is far less than the value of “later” and even if it pays these guys far less than they’re worth overall.
But that’s the system. And it’s one which will force Tatís to make a tough choice: either take a deal at a time when the team has most of the leverage or else turn down millions in hand now in order take a shot at many more millions later. In his case, he’ll have a rookie season with multiple injuries to think about too. Does that portend future injury issues? Could he, like some players who have been in his shoes before, end up damaged goods by the time he expected to get paid?
We’ll see how both he and the Padres calculate all of that between now and February, it seems.