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2010-season-in-review-tim-hudson | November | 2010 Articles

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2010 Season in Review: Tim Hudson

Written by Joe Lucia on .

We're gonna finally get back on track with these, since my BravesHeart archives are now up here at Chop-N-Change...to check them out, just click the Archives button along the top toolbar, and click the year and month you want. Mine go back to June 2009. Anyway, we left off a month ago with Tommy Hanson. I'm going in alphabetical order from the roster, so next up is Tim Hudson. Hudson made his return to the Braves from Tommy John surgery last September, and fans really had no idea what to expect from him. Hudson signed a 3 year extension with the Braves after the season (with an option for the 4th year) at $9 million per season. Seemed like a decent enough deal depending on how well he'd pitch during a full season in his return from TJ. If only the Braves knew what they'd be getting...

Hudson was, quite frankly, completely awesome for the Braves in 2010. He made the All-Star team and finished 4th in Cy Young voting. Each of those honors were the first time for Hudson as a Brave. Hudson transformed himself as a pitcher after his injury, turning into an absolute ground ball machine who could get the big strikeout when he needed to and didn't walk a whole lot of batters. His K rate was 5.47, lower than each of his seasons in Oakland but the second highest in his tenure as a Brave over a full season. His walk rate jumped to 2.91, slightly higher than his career average. But the ground ball rate is where Hudson shined. Hudson's mark of 64.1% was not only 5% higher than his career norm, but it was also tops in the majors. Fun fact: no other pitcher had a rate higher than 60%. And there's Hudson, over 64%. Amazing.

Overall though, Hudson outperformed his peripherals. But then again, guys who get groundballs that frequently will generally have things skewed a little more due to the lack of hard hit balls. Despite a 2.83 ERA, Hudson's FIP was only 4.09, and his xFIP was 3.87. I'd feel a lot more comfortable if Hudson was able to boost his strikeouts a little bit and cut his walks a little bit in order to get things a little more in line with the way they're supposed to be. But in the end, if he's able to consistently outperform his peripherals over the life of his contract with an obscene groundball ratio, I'll take it. I'd expect the ERA to rise a little bit in 2011 though, with Martin Prado and his consistent (albeit mediocre) defense being shifted to the outfield in favor of the butcher that is Dan Uggla. That strand rate of 81.2% probably won't stay that high, either. Overall projection...I'd say a 3.30 ERA and 16 wins. Sounds about right.

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