I was on David Todd’s show this week, shortly after the Ivan Nova signing and the rumor that the Pirates were going after Jose Quintana. David also had Daniel Hudson on his show for an interesting interview the day prior to our interview. You can find both podcasts below. We’ll start with the Hudson interview, along with some key quotes.
**Hudson had two Tommy John surgeries, and was featured in Jeff Passan’s book, “The Arm”. The discussion opened up about Hudson’s experiences coming back from both surgeries, along with a missed opportunity with an early career extension, and finally getting back to a point where he could receive a big payday.
“Three years ago, I didn’t even know if I pitch in a game again at that point,” Hudson said. “And to have [the signing with the Pirates] happen was definitely rewarding and I’m definitely grateful.”
**Hudson also discussed his research on the Pirates’ organization. He noted that they seemed like a fun, close-knit group, although he hadn’t talked with Ray Searage, Clint Hurdle, or Neal Huntington prior to this process. He did talk with A.J. Schugel to get some info on the team.
**They discussed his offseason routine, which is back to normal. Hudson hasn’t spoken to Searage yet, but figures it will be a typical approach to what most organizations do in terms of getting a pitcher ready for the season. Keep in mind that the Pirates generally don’t offer changes right away, so Searage would have to see Hudson throw a bit before suggesting anything.
**Hudson discussed what he was looking for in a team, which wasn’t necessarily the opportunity to close: “I kind of left it to my agent. I kind of explained it like this: the way I think bullpens going, they are to starting to use guys differently. I don’t really worry about roles. You know there’s going to be a situation where somebody’s going to need to pitch every single night whether it’s fifth or sixth, seventh, eighth, or ninth. I really don’t get stuck on roles too much. I don’t really get stuck on who’s the closer, who’s the set-up guy. Yes it’s nice to know about how many times are going to pitch, but at some point you know you’re going to have to go out there and get a big out or two, or three and it doesn’t really matter when that is for me. Whether it’s in the seventh, eighth, or ninth, I don’t really care. If Tony’s the main closer and he’s throwing in the ninth that night and I’m throwing in the eighth, I’m just trying to get three outs to bring the ball home to him.”
**Hudson also said he liked “a lot” the way Andrew Miller was used in the playoffs. Hudson also had some interesting theories on how starting pitchers might be used in the future: “There’s going to be a turn in the way starting pitchers are even used here coming up pretty quick with guys going through a lineup, you know three times max. I think it’s just the way the games going. And I think the more fresh arms you can get in there, the earlier the better. You know just giving the lineup something different to look at and not giving a guy three looks at a starter, or four looks at a starter. I think it’s going to be a big challenge for managers to work a bullpen like that. And I’m looking forward to the challenge for sure.”
**Hudson broke down his pitches by saying he throws a four seam, although he can manipulate it and it has some sink at times. He also throws a slider and a circle change. When asked for his thumbnail scouting report: “I’d like to think I’m a pretty hard thrower and I’ve got a decent changeup and breaking ball. So I can get you out in multiple ways, I hope.”
Also, I was on David’s show yesterday, discussing the Ivan Nova deal and a possible Jose Quintana trade. I don’t have notes or transcriptions because David’s niece didn’t transcribe that interview like the Hudson one. So you’ll just have to listen to the interview like it’s 2010.