Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Daniel Hudson has been among the pitchers throwing regular bullpen sessions during Spring Training, but he’s unlikely to be included on the Los Angeles Dodgers Opening Day roster for the 2023 season.
Hudson underwent season-ending surgery last June for a torn ACL in his left knee and more recently has been dealing with right ankle tendinitis that surfaced during the rehab process.
“Huddy is moving forward. I saw him [Wednesday] in a ‘pen, it looked really good. Is he progressing? Absolutely. Is he going to be an impact reliever for us? Yes. Is it Opening Day? I don’t know about that yet,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said from Camelback Ranch on Thursday.
“I do believe it’ll be early on in the season, but I don’t think Opening Day is a hard date for us.”
Although Hudson is not expected to be with the Dodgers come Opening Day 2023, the right-hander is faring well when throwing, as all of his bullpen sessions have been at full intensity.
“If you didn’t know about the knee or ankle, you wouldn’t know any different,” Roberts said. “He can spin the baseball, he can command the baseball. He looks really good.”
Roberts further explained Hudson falling a bit behind in spring is more a byproduct of his recovery from ACL surgery than the ankle tendinitis or not having enough time to build arm strength.
“He’s been throwing, he’s a one-inning guy, but as far as PFPs and the recovery, stuff like that we’ve got to be very sensitive too,” Roberts said.
Hudson went 2-3 with a 2.22 ERA, 2.05 FIP and 0.90 WHIP over 25 games prior to the knee injury last season. He was slated to potentially reach free agency at the end of 2023 but signed a one-year, $6.5 million contract extension that includes a team option for 2024.
Will Daniel Hudson be Dodgers closer?
One of the question marks in the Dodgers bullpen is which relief pitcher — or relievers — will be relied on to finish games.
Dodgers general manager Brandon Gomes and Roberts have indicated the team does not feel a need to head into the season with a dedicated closer. However, Hudson figures to be part of that equation once healthy.
“I think it’s still fluid. I think there’s a couple other guys in the mix,” Roberts said of the Dodgers closer role.
“I don’t think we need to break camp and say we have a dedicated closer. I think there’s a handful of guys that are going to be in our ‘pen that I feel can finish games.”
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