Tim Hudson is human now. After starting the year with a 1.81 ERA and an All-Star selection, he has settled into a 2.90 ERA in his past twelve starts. In 167.2 innings pitched this season, the 38-year old right-hander has a 3.48 FIP, 1.6 fWAR, and an ERA+ of 118 (above average). Wednesday night he went 8 innings, giving up 1 run in a win against the Rockies and racked up his 2,000th career strikeout. He has had his share of problems, but has also been a losing streak stopper. He isn’t Greg Maddux or Nolan Ryan, but he is contributing more than anybody expected after his horrific ankle injury in 2013.
On July 25 of 2013, Hudson had his ankle injured while covering first as Eric Young Jr. tried to find the base to leg out a base hit. He was out the rest of the season and was reportedly “low-balled” by the Braves in the offseason. San Francisco was interested, along with other contending ball clubs, but Hudson reached a deal with the Giants. He signed for two-years, over $22 million and has outplayed his yearly salary. There is no doubt in my mind that he could win the National League comeback player of the year award for the second time in his career.
Now, Hudson isn’t the only player to comeback and make a big impact on a team this season. Casey McGehee spent his 2013 season in Japan then coming back over to the sign with the Marlins before the 2014 season. He has a respectable slash of .292/.360/.368 with 3 homers, 62 RBI, and an OPS+ of 103 with Miami and will be in the running along with Johnny Cueto of the Reds. He has a 2.26 ERA in 199 innings pitched this season after pitching only 60 innings last year due to a reoccurring lat injury. He could very well win it, but being on a winning team could help Hudson.
-Hudson became the fourth active big leaguer to hit 2,000 strikeouts, joining CC Sabathia (2,437), A.J. Burnett (2,337) and Bartolo Colon (2,080). He got there just ahead of Jake Peavy, who is at 1,997, Tim Lincecum (1,640) and Matt Cain 1,506) rank 19th and 22nd, respectively.
-For right now, Hudson’s team has a better record than both clubs as they sit at 71-62, 4.5 games back of the Dodgers in the National League West. They are currently in the second slot of the wild card and are a half game behind the Cardinals for the top spot. The Giants are 1.5 games in front of the Braves and 2 games in front of the Pirates for the second wild card spot.
-Friday, the Giants host game one of a three game series against the Brewers when Ryan Vogelsong (7-9, 3.78) and Wily Peralta (15-8, 3.56) face off. Milwaukee leads the National League Central by 1.5 games in front of the Cardinals.