After covering the Arizona Diamondbacks for numerous seasons on this site, I can officially say that the 2015 season whizzed by faster than the rest. I could have sworn that I was just attending Opening Night. Unfortunately the off-season is here and that means we get to review every player that played a significant time on the 25 man roster for the D-backs this past year.
2014 was a lost season for the Arizona Diamondbacks, but one of the best moments came on the night of September 4th at Petco Park in San Diego against the Padres.
This was the night that Daniel Hudson finally returned to a Major League mound after undergoing two Tommy John Surgeries. With that being said, just having him back for a full season, even if it was out of the bullpen and not in the rotation made his 2015 season a good year for him.
One of the things that has to excite fans about the 2016 season is the strong chance that two of the D-backs’ best young pitchers currently at the Major League level, Hudson and Patrick Corbin will be 100% healthy.
The question of whether Hudson will be a starter or reliever will determine the impact he can have next season, and will be a hot storyline all winter long and into spring training. That topic is for another post.
Today I want to evaluate and grade Hudson’s 2015 campaign. Here we go!
For a pitcher whose innings have been so inconsistent since 2011 due to the two surgeries (222 innings in 2011, 45.1 in 2012, 2.2 in 2014, and 67.2 this past season), Hudson was a reliable contributor out of the bullpen that consistently got the job done for Chip Hale.
For 2015, Hudson finished with a record of 4-3 and a 3.86 ERA in 67.2 innings pitched with a great K/BB ratio of 71/25, allowing 34 runs, 25 of them earned.
The number one job of a middle-to-late inning reliever is to hold the lead when your team is winning or to keep the score right where it is when the game is tied or the other team is ahead.
Hudson did that job effectively, stranding a little over 69% of his runners on base while leading the team with 20 holds. A hold in baseball is the ability of a middle reliever to hand the game in a save situation to the next pitcher without the score being tied or the lead lost.
That shows how valuable he is out of the ‘pen, and will make Hale and the front office’s decision on whether to move him back to the rotation difficult.
With runners in scoring position, opposing batters hit .246 and in high-leverage situations they hit .235.
Finally, his stuff was electric almost all season, which was great to see.
Not to mention he is great on Twitter and is a leader in the clubhouse.
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Hudson’s 3.86 ERA could have been a lot better if it wasn’t for his second half slide. In 31 games, his ERA was 4.31 and he allowed 31 hits in 29 innings pitched.
Hudson was also not very good away from Chase Field, compiling a 4.55 ERA. Finally, if you look at his month to month splits he started off the season in a horrible fashion, posting a 7.20 ERA. He then bounced back with three solid months in May, April, and June, had a bad month in August and a so-so September.
His splits against RHB (.291) and LHP (.186) were drastically different, something he needs to improve on if the D-backs are going to make him a starter in 2016.
Hudson would probably like to allow fewer home runs than the seven he gave up in 2015, but every Snakes’ pitcher has a problem with the long ball.
Overall, if there is anything that Hudson needs to get better at, it is consistency
Given what he has went through, Hudson had a really good season in 2015. If he can stay fully healthy, he is going to do special things in 2016.
Obviously, Huddy would like to be more consistent, but again you can’t really blame that on him and his abilities as a pitcher.
No matter what role the organization decides is best for Daniel Hudson, he will be a valuable contributor for the Arizona Diamondbacks next season.