Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Daniel Hudson was one of the most reliable relief pitchers in his return the Los Angeles Dodgers last season until he suffered a torn ACL in his left knee that caused him to miss most of the year.
Hudson was slated to 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, which showed the faith the Dodgers have in the right-hander to return from injury.
However, Hudson’s road to recovery has been a rocky path. Hudson previously dealt with ankle tendinitis that slowed down his rehab and made him unlikely to be ready for Opening Day.
Now, his knee has not been responding well after pitching, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times:
Daniel Hudson said Monday that his surgically repaired left knee has required a “few days” to bounce back between live batting-practice sessions, a setback that has slowed the frustrated reliever’s return to the Dodgers.
The Dodgers are unsure what the path moving forward for Hudson looks like, so that is something they have to plan out still. However, it could cause Hudson to miss more time than previously anticipated as he will need to build back up once he is able to return to pitching:
“We’re trying to evaluate it right now to see where we’re at,” said Hudson, who is expected to close games for the Dodgers. “We haven’t really made any decisions on what the next step is. We’re just trying to map some stuff out … on when I can get back into games.”
The 36-year-old 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.
If Hudson is able to pitch this season, he would be among the favorites to close out games with no set ninth-inning reliever on the roster. But the Dodgers are moving forward with a closer-by-committee approach.
Still, Hudson has the most experience among their options with 32 career saves, including 10 with the World Series champion Washington Nationals in 2019.
Daniel Hudson gave new nickname to James Outman
James Outman has been among the top performers during Dodgers Spring Training, but perhaps his most impressive performance came during a live batting practice session on the backfields at Camelback Ranch when he homered against Hudson, Evan Phillips and Caleb Ferguson.
After facing Outman, Hudson praised the left-handed hitter by jokingly calling him Babe Ruth.
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