I hate to say it, but Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Tim Hudson should go to the bullpen when Brandon Beachy comes back from offseason Tommy John surgery.
Not because he’s performing all that badly, as his 6-7 record puts him just a game below .500 despite the fact that he has received some of the lowest run support in MLB. Not because his advanced age (37-years old) means that it’s time to move him to a full-time reliever either, as he has no experience there and has actually been one of the most consistent starters in the game for the past decade and a half.
Not because he’s better in short bursts, as he has generally been better after the first inning over the last few seasons, meaning that if opponents fail to get him early, they often won’t get him at all.
The real reason that Hudson should go to the ‘pen is because nobody else in the rotation deserves to be demoted. That’s not Mike Minor, who has been the club’s best pitcher all year long. Ditto rookie Julio Teheran, who has been solid since May. The team can’t demote Kris Medlen, who was the team’s ace last season and has recently returned to the level of play he exhibited then; or Paul Maholm, who has a team-high nine wins.
I didn’t arrive at this conclusion lightly, as I have always been a huge fan of Hudson for what he does both on and off the field. He just happens to be the odd man out in this equation.
And while I realize that he may request a trade because of such a decision, it’s simply a chance that the Braves need to take.