White Sox player wrap-ups - Daniel Hudson


Sometimes the only picture of you big enough for a title line is a shot of you looking like you can't stand the smell of the dugout.

As much as I admittedly am charmed by the "We're All-In" slogan, it's a bit of a misnomer because...it's not really new.  Maybe the White Sox aren't going 'all-in' with the same amount of money each season, but they still tend to view all the assets of their organization in terms of how it can help them best compete in the current season.  It would take a special situation for Kenny Williams to concede any hopes at the playoffs for the sake of waiting for prospects to mature.

On a related note, Daniel Hudson plays for the Arizona Diamondbacks now.

Stat line: 3
starts, 15.2 IP, 1-1, 6.32 ERA, 1.79 WHIP, 17 H, 1 HR, 14 K (8.04
K/9), 11 BB (6.32 BB/9), .346 BABIP, 4.23 FIP, 0.2 fWAR, -0.3 bWAR

What did we expect?: A 2011. 

There were plenty of rave reviews about Hudson's make-up in Spring Training, and the way he shot through the organization in 2009 clearly marked him as a future rotation member.  Hudson was left off the major league roster specifically for the sake of keeping him busy throwing long innings, but he also was bumped off the big club by sorta-washed-up Freddy Garcia.  Big things were expected, just not this season.


Hudson at least has Sale beat on the 'throwing motion that doesn't look bound for injury' front

I would try to squeeze in one last excerpt from FutureSox.com, but it mostly examines Hudson's tools on the mound, and at this point....that's just going to make you sad.

The result: Well, this is pretty easy...there were only three starts, but for posterity's sake: Hudson was having a very good, but not inscrutable year in Triple-A prior to his call-up.  The 11-4, 3.47 ERA line looked well enough, and were marked by decent control and piles of strikeouts.  He was also giving up a Linebrink-level of home runs, but he played in Charlotte.  From what I hear, they play in a miniaturized grain silo.

With the Sox, Hudson made three starts against teams that all ranked 20th or lower in MLB in runs scored: one outing was pretty good, two were very bad.  The best outing, 6.2 IP 6 K, 1 ER, came against Seattle, possibly the worst offense I've witnessed since gaining the ability to count.

Consistently throughout his outings, Hudson displayed the ability to strike out major league hitters, and the inability to hit a major league strikezone.  What was strikingly bizarre, is that in his two poor efforts, Hudson posted a dreadful, horrible, unimaginably low groundball rate (9%).  Once again, I most invoke the name....Linebrink.

Hudson's K-rate certainly reflected that he is capable of retiring major league hitters, and he managed to keep the ball in the park despite his fly-ball tendencies and the horrible situations he kept walking himself into, but the control problems indicated what was suspected at the beginning of the season; that Dan was too raw to contribute.

A hasty trade for Edwin Jackson was perhaps not quite as expected.


Can you immediately regret a decision if you always knew you would?

To rub things in, Hudson went ballistic in Arizona thanks to newfound control and a healthy dose of luck (.221 BABIP)

Love that we left him?: It's pretty obvious that there's no real way this trade could be a win unless the White Sox went and won another World Series or something.  Hudson is younger, much, much cheaper, and under contract for much, much longer.  It's going to be really hard for Jackson to match Hudson's value under his current deal in just a year and a half with the Sox unless he just doesn't give up a run all of 2011.

With that acknowledged, breaking down the trade shifts to "Was it understandable?", which is also what is asked after experimentation with hardcore drugs...or manslaughter.  Williams is widely speculated to have traded for Jackson in order to flip him for Adam Dunn (in some ways that's a worse trade from a total WAR perspective), which doesn't shake the deal away from the perspective of trying to win the 2010 AL Central title.

Williams may have always been planning to trade Hudson, but after three starts against below-average competition, Hudson did little to indicate that he would really help the White Sox in the short-term.  A lot of youngsters have control problems, but Hudson had struggled with command at multiple levels, and had a fly-ball style that suggested he would never be a great match with U.S. Cellular.

Certainly, dealing Hudson was representative of an incredibly short-sighted method of team management, but falls short (thankfully) of abject stupidity.

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