Another serious blow to the Diamondbacks this afternoon, with the following news, apparently out of nowhere:
The Arizona Diamondbacks announced today they have recalled right-handed pitcher Jonathan Albaladejo from Triple-A Reno and placed right-handed pitcher Daniel Hudson on the 15-day disabled list (retro to April 19) with a right shoulder impingement, according to D-backs' Executive Vice President & General Manager Kevin Towers.
Video of Hudson discussing the injury, and analysis, after the jump.
Gibby on @DHuddy41 injury - "MRI showed no structural damage. At this point in the season, we're not going to push him through."— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) April 21, 2012
I know Hudson hadn't exactly been as awesome as we thought he should be. In his three starts, he had allowed 12 earned runs in 18 innings, but as far as I know, there hadn't been any whispers of there being a physical problem underlying this. To some extent, it's a relief that the team appear to have determined there is a physical cause, rather than it being something perhaps harder to address, like a change in his mechanics.
However, I am very concerned about the usage of the term "shoulder impingement". When you Google that, the first two terms that come up refer to the rotator cuff. And if that part of the body rings a bell, it's because it's the one whose breakdown basically ended Brandon Webb's career. Now - and I think we'll put this in bold - there is absolutely no indication of Hudson's situation being similar. But shoulder problems are never a good thing for any pitcher, and we can just hope that this is a minor problem, just a case of "tennis shoulder", that can be resolved with rest. Based on Gibson's comments above, I'm hopeful this is indeed the case.
At first glance, the move seems an odd one. Obviously, Albaladejo is a reliever, who has made eight appearances out of the bullpen for the Reno Aces. Numbers have been quite good - two earned runs in 7.2 innings of work, with seven strikeouts. But even before this year, he was a full-time reliever, both when working last season in Japan with the Yomiuri Giants (a 2.45 ERA in 51.1 innings), and prior to that, when in the majors with the Yankees and Nationals (4.15 ERA combined, over 73.2 IP). That leads me to suspect that this is just a short-term move, designed to tide the Diamondbacks over today and tomorrow, until Hudson's scheduled start on Monday.
There are a number of potential candidates for that. Josh Collmenter probably did just enough against the Braves to earn another start, so we could see Wade Miley move from the bullpen. He had his shortest outing of the season in relief of Collmenter on Thursday night, throwing 34 pitches, but it would still be somewhat on short rest. I'm still concerned that Miley has walked twice as many batters as he has struck out, with only a pair of K's in his 8.2 innings of work. While his 3.12 ERA looks nice, it's very heavily dependent on a minuscule batting average on balls in play of .194, which is unlikely to continue.
Patrick Corbin also pitched on Thursday night, but he was the actual starter for Mobile, and threw a full seven innings. That's probably too much, but it could be the case that Miley gets a spot-start, with Corbin making his scheduled start with Mobil, which would presumably be Tuesday, and then being used for Hudson's slot thereafter - due to Thursday's off-day, that would not fall until a week tomorrow. Alternatively, the team may try to use the off day and shift to a four-man rotation as much as possible.
Hudson joins Chris Young, Stephen Drew, Takashi Saito and Geoff Blum, to become the fifth member of the Diamondbacks team on the DL, with barely two weeks gone into the season. It's the kind of thing for which no-one can legislate: hey, it'll just make our eventual triumph all the more rewarding...
Earlier reports stating the team has also recalled Takashi Saito from his rehab assignment appear to have been false, with Kirk Gibson saying today, ""He had a little setback. We'll have to back him down a bit and get his calf healed."