Tim Hudson Makes His Return For The Atlanta Braves

13 months and one Tommy John surgery later, Tim Hudson will make his long awaited return to the pitcher’s mound tonight against the Florida Marlins. I for one, am excited to see Hudson pitch again.

Hudson makes his return tonight

Hudson makes his return tonight

Because Hudson has been out of the game for awhile, many forget that from 1999-2007, Hudson was one of the games best pitchers. In that time period, Hudson was a ridiculous 135-70 (that’s a .659 winning percentage) with a 3.51 ERA. He was a two-time All-Star and finished in the top-five in the Cy Young voting twice.

Now at 34 years old and entering his 11th major league season, Hudson will try to give the Braves quality starts in September. The questions is — does Hudson have anything left?

I think he does.

Hudson has two things in his advantage. 1. He had Tommy John surgery not shoulder surgery. If he had shoulder surgery, he would be toast. But as Billy Wagner has taught us — no matter what age you are, you can come back and be successful from Tommy John surgery.

2. He was never a power pitcher. Hudson never relied on a 95 mph fastball and strikeouts to get batters out. For his career, he only has 1,372 strikeouts in 2,017.1 innings pitched.

Hudson has always relied on great control and a tremendous sinker to get outs. That won’t change because of the surgery.

In six rehab starts Hudson had a 3.86 ERA and 14 K’s and only four walks in 23.1 IP. Hudson did give up 29 hits in those 23.1 innings, but that is to be expected since he hasn’t pitched in over a year.

I expect Hudson to be good not great in his first couple of starts, but get better towards the end of September when the Braves might need him the most.

It’s good to see Hudson back in the big leagues where he belongs.

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