Friday, March 10, 2006
Hudson's control costs him a job
BY KEVIN KELLY | ENQUIRER STAFF WRITER
BRADENTON, Fla. - Once considered one of the Reds' most promising pitching prospects, Luke Hudson now is looking for a new team.
The Reds released the 28-year-old Thursday as part of the first round of roster cuts. There are now 56 players remaining in major-league camp.
"We just didn't see improvement in his control - throwing strikes, getting ahead of hitters," Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky of Hudson. "He still has a good arm. He's taken good care of himself. I don't have any doubt he'll hook on with somebody else.
"But we felt he was behind a lot of other people at this time."
Hudson made three appearances this spring and allowed one earned run over four innings. The right-hander struck out four but also walked four.
"All you can do right now is get another job," Hudson said. "Who knows - a change of setting might help me.
"The tough thing is this is my fifth year in this organization. Saying goodbye to everyone is the toughest part."
In 19 appearances with the Reds last season, including 16 starts, Hudson went 6-9 with a 6.38 ERA over 842/3 innings. He allowed 83 hits and struck out just three more batters (53) than he walked (50).
There remains a possibility Hudson could wind up with the Reds.
"Depending on what he has out there, I told him we'd keep the dialogue open," Krivsky said.
Also released Thursday was minor-league pitcher Bubba Nelson.
OTHER MOVES: Reassigned to minor-league camp Thursday were infielders Aaron Herr, Anderson Machado and Derek Wathan and pitcher Josh Hall.
"They just need to go out and play - in some cases play to make a club," Reds manager Jerry Narron said.
"Josh Hall hasn't pitched a great deal over the last couple of years. He needs to pitch."
MOVING UP: Edwin Encarnacion has been a force offensively this spring and continued the hot hitting Thursday.
The Reds third baseman hit a two-run home run in his first at-bat against Pirates pitcher Ian Snell and now is batting .429 with a team-leading five homers and 12 RBI in seven games.
"He's definitely been locked in on offense," Narron said.
Encarnacion batted eighth in 36 of his 69 games with the Reds last season, but that's not necessarily where Narron sees the third baseman in the near future.
"I think he's going to be a middle-of-the-order guy," Narron said. "We're talking about a young kid. He's got some growing to do.
"The big thing is if he's going to be an RBI guy that's going to drive in the big runs there in the middle of the order. That's what we're going to have to find out."
GO TIME: Veteran reliever Kent Mercker is expected to make his spring training debut today.
ODDS AND ENDS: Ed Smith, the namesake of the stadium in which the Reds play their Grapefruit League games, died Thursday in Sarasota. He was 91 years old.
Today's game against the Yankees at Ed Smith Stadium is sold out.
Outfielder Dewayne Wise's streak of consecutive hits ended at six when he grounded out in his first at-bat Thursday.