Dodgers News: Daniel Hudson Still Has ‘Some Left In The Tank’

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Daniel Hudson’s time on the Los Angeles Dodgers’ active roster was short-lived last season after he was expected to be a key contributor in the bullpen. Unfortunately for Hudson, his season ended before it could get going.

Hudson made three appearances for the Dodgers in 2023, posting a pristine ERA through three innings with one save before an MCL sprain in his right knee ended his season.

As a 14-year veteran of the sport with one World Series ring to his name already, no one could have blamed him if he decided to call it a career.

Instead, he chose to re-sign for his third year with the Dodgers, joining on a Minor League deal worth $2 million if he breaks camp with the team and up to another $2 million in performance bonuses back in December of last year.

Hudson decided to not hang up the cleats quite yet because he believed that he still had enough juice in the arm and something to prove to himself, according to Cary Osborne of Dodger Insider:

“I still feel like I have some left in the tank,” Hudson said. “To be able to come out here and try and compete again and show that I still got it in there a little bit — to actually show it to myself more than anybody — but I still think I can help the team win a World Series, especially with my arm.”

The Dodgers’ bullpen was the better of the two pitching groups in 2023, owning the third-best bullpen ERA in the Majors. A revamped starting rotation, along with continued success from the bullpen will put the Dodgers in a position to win games more often than not.

They once again have a deep bullpen that includes many of the names who contributed last year, and it should be a strength of their very talented roster.

What could Daniel Hudson’s role be this season?

The Dodgers could use Hudson in numerous roles, which include placing him back into high-leverage spots or working as a bridge to Evan Phillips in the late innings. But they could also ease him back into the mix by utilizing him in middle relief opportunities to start his season, which may be the most likely outcome.

Phillips is set to get the lions share of save opportunities, but the full-time closer role is not yet set in stone. Hudson did convert his only save opportunity against the Pirates in 2023, and he has experience in that role as well, but it’s unlikely he sees many opportunities this season.

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