anything but dominant. Yesterday, we may have found out why. After being lifted from his last start with tightness in his right forearm, the Diamondbacks placed Hudson on the 15-day DL yesterday with tear in his ulnar collateral ligament.
Hudson will likely be faced with season-ending Tommy John surgery, but Hudson may first seek a second opinion. The number of pitchers to undergo Tommy John surgery this season is staggering, but the injury explains Hudson’s reduced command and effectiveness.
The injury wasn’t necessarily apparent in Hudson’s velocity, but there has been a slight reduction compared with last year. According to Fangraphs, Hudson’s fastball is averaging about 0.4 mph less velocity. His slider is averaging 4.2 mph less, which is probably most telling.
Hudson was 3-2 this season with a 7.35 ERA. Last year, he was 16-12 with a 3.45 ERA, and in his career, he owns an ERA of just 3.68. Hudson left his start Tuesday in the second inning complaining of discomfort in his pitching arm. And things just got worse from there. According to Nick Piercoro of the Arizona Republic, an MRI yesterday revealed a 100% tear of Hudson’s right UCL.
While the Diamondbacks have already called up Trevor Bauer to replace the injured Joe Saunders (Bauer makes his debut today), they will need more pitching help. Tyler Skaggs, another highly-touted pitching prospect in the DBacks organization is not ready for a call-up. Hudson’s injury almost forces Arizona to look at the trade market for help if they way to continue their rise toward the top of the National League West.
Hudson, who is just 25-years old, would likely return sometime after the All-Star break next year if he does in fact have to undergo Tommy John surgery.
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