Originally Posted by M2
Man, do I wish the board search function didn't have a blind spot for all of last offseason. The surety that Hudson's a keeper based on a sliver of evidence is a reincarnation of the same stuff folks said about Jose Acevedo a year ago.
Well, keep in mind that folks were counting on Graves to be the ace of the staff after 2002. As Reds fans, we tend to do that. No reliable starting pitching is the cause to that effect.
Heck, there were folks on this board pimping Acevedo as "above average" into June of last season, not realizing that 10 HR in his first 60 IP was probably a pretty bad sign. The board coined the term "Ace" as a term of endearment That, of course, morphed into a moniker of derision when Acevedo showed his true colors.
Astoundingly, "Ace" gave up Home Runs in 13 of his first 15 games in 2004 after posting a 2.67 ERA in 2003.
Fast forward to 2004. Luke Hudson is handed a starting spot in the Cinci rotation. He's pitched against far younger competition until then. Despite that, he's given up 11 HR in 105.2 IP at the minor league level. He gets a call to the Show because, frankly...there are no other options. His HR rate plummets as does his K rate. And his ERA of 2.42 is lower than Acevedo's 2.67 in 2003 despite an OPS Against about 40 points higher than Acevedo's 2003 season.
Why is that ERA lower? Because Hudson's abyssmal GB/FB rate (especially considering his K rate) doesn't result in the HR rate we'd normally expect. That's a lot of luck working for Hudson there. Big time. Seriously, a .64 GB/FB rate and 3 HR in 48.1 IP. Triple that next year and one might have a reasonable projection.
Further confounding the solution is that Hudson was never allowed to go more than 6 Innings in a game- primarily because his pitch counts got to the point of ridiculous. Of the five times Hudson did go as many as 6.0 Innings (his longest outing), his pitch count registered less that 100 Pitches exactly twice- never lower than 88 (the only time under 90).
Man, if there ever was a guy who defined how badly the Reds need real
pitching, it's Luke Hudson. And yeah, the same could be said (and was) of Danny Graves and Jose Acevedo.