This is a guest post by a friend of Around the Foghorn, and current Atlanta Braves fan Wade Black.
Back on November 18, 2013 when the San Francisco Giants came to terms with Tim Hudson on a 2 year – $23M deal a little piece of me died inside. Being a long time Braves fan who had followed Hudson ever since he played NCAA baseball in the neighboring state of Alabama with the Auburn Tigers, it was hard to imagine him leaving Atlanta. Being a Braves fan growing himself it was easy to imagine Huddy staying with the Braves for the remainder of his career, however the ground work was laid for him to leave in July 2013 when a freak accident ended his season prematurely. Suffering a broken ankle there were many that figured Hudson may retire from baseball altogether, but he had different ideas.
After not being offered the $14.1M qualifying offer from the Braves who figured to sign him for much less and effectively becoming a free agent, Hudson, still rehabbing his injury came to an agreement with the Giants that will see him return to the Bay Area where he began his All-Star career with the Oakland Athletics in 1999 where he was part of the Big 3 withMark Mulder and Barry Zito (Although he was the only one mentioned in theMoneyball movie)
After coming to grips with the deal and one of my favorite pitchers leaving my favorite team, I decided to do a little research on how he fared against what will be his main competition in the National League West. As you can see from the stats below, just like his career stats Hudson has had a tremendous amount of success against teams in the NL West; however you will note a lot of this appears to have come at home in Turner Field.
At NL West Parks W L ERA G GS WHIP SO/9 SO/BB
COL-Coors Fld 0 2 7.41 6 6 1.676 7.1 1.93
LAD-Dodger Stad 1 3 4.47 8 8 1.489 6.2 1.88
ARI-Chase Field 4 1 1.87 6 6 1.085 6.9 3.00
SDP-PetCo Pk 1 1 3.91 5 4 1.522 6.3 1.78
SFG-AT&T Pk 3 3 3.81 8 8 1.231 4.8 2.00
9 10 4.29 33 32 1.400 6.26 2.12
Against NL West Teams W L ERA G GS WHIP SO/9 SO/BB
Arizona Diamondbacks 7 1 2.18 11 11 1.06 6.9 2.61
Colorado Rockies 5 2 4.35 11 11 1.28 6.1 1.85
Los Angeles Dodgers 6 4 3.49 14 14 1.24 6.6 2.64
San Diego Padres 6 1 2.80 13 12 1.284 7.2 2.81
San Francisco Giants 8 5 3.51 18 18 1.162 5.3 2.47
32 13 3.27 67 66 1.205 6.4 2.48
So what can San Francisco Giants fans expect from the now 38 year old hurler? Well, I wouldn’t expect much more that what we have seen in his last 2 1/2 seasons in Atlanta which comprised of an average of 13 wins, 27 starts, 175 inn, ERA+ 110, SO/9-6.1 and a WHIP of 1.174. With age soon to be catching up, Hudson will more than likely see his innings limited in order to keep him fresh throughout the long season; although it would not surprise me to see him make his 30 starts for the Giants in 2014 as I am positive the competitor in him will feel like has something to prove. The pitcher friendly confines of AT&T Park should also help with the right-hander’s rebound in 2014.
Beyond his contributions on the mound Giants fans can expect Hudson to make a noticeable impact in the clubhouse, especially with the other starting pitchers such as Tim Lincecum , Ryan Vogelsong and Matt Cain . The biggest impact may be seen with Lincecum whose struggles the past few seasons to overcome the loss of velocity and mechanical issues are well documented. While Hudson has never really had mechanical issues throughout his career he has battled through back issues and ligament replacement surgery (Tommy John) in August 2008. Both of which combined with natural aging put to the test his well known work ethic as well as his overall velocity which has seen a slight decline over the past several seasons. Personally, I’d look for Lincecum to rebound in 2014 with a new extension (2 yrs/$35M) and Hudson at his disposal for any assistance he may require.
So, Giants fans please enjoy the treat that is Tim Hudson. I am sure you will come to appreciate the fiery competitive veteran in your rotation as much as this Braves fan has over the past 8 seasons.
Last but not least, please Beat LA.