It has been nearly two years since Daniel Hudson last pitched in a major league game, and although he will still have to wait quite a bit longer, he is making progress in his rehabilitation. He returned to the mound last month, throwing just fastballs, but on Tuesday afternoon, he started mixing in off speed pitches into his bullpen session. It was the first time Hudson had thrown breaking balls since he re-injured his elbow last June during a rehab start.
This is a major point of progress, considering that in the last two years, he has torn his ulnar collateral ligament twice, and needed Tommy John surgery both times. Although there is no set timetable for his return, Hudson will likely return by the end of this season. Theoretically, he could come back and pitch in around one month, but given his history with elbow injuries combined with the fact that the Arizona Diamondbacks are nowhere near contention, there is absolutely no need for him to rush back in to action.
While the Diamondbacks could use all of the help they can get in the pitching department, Hudson would not be able to help Arizona enough to justify bringing him back this early. This is for a couple of reasons. First, Hudson is simply not that good. Sure, he was a great No. 2 pitcher a couple years ago, but that was before two Tommy John surgeries. While he may eventually get back to the level he pitched at before his injury, he will certainly not be there this season.
The second reason is that he likely wouldn’t even start. Hudson would come out of the bullpen for the remainder of this season, and then reevaluate his status next year. The Diamondbacks’ pitcher wouldn’t make much of an impact coming out of the bullpen, but he would be able to regain his confidence, and ease back into his role as a starting pitcher.
When a pitcher gets essentially two consecutive Tommy John surgeries it is nearly impossible for them to return to the level they were at before the injuries, but Daniel Hudson is making good progress in his quest to defy that idea.