Daniel Hudson had been the longest serving Diamondbacks, having been with the team since Opening Day 2011. [That honor now belongs to Paul Goldschmidt, who debuted on August 1 that season] He was initially a starter, but moved to the bullpen after his two Tommy John procedures. That wiped out close to two and a half seasons of Huddy’s time in Arizona, as he didn’t take the mound in a major-league game from June 2012 until September 2014. His return was one of the most memorable moments I’ve experienced as a Diamondbacks fan.
Hudson had a solid 2015 campaign, putting up a 3.86 ERA, but his campaign this year was derailed by a truly atrocious six-week spell, where it seemed everything he pitched was set up on a tee. That caused his season ERA to balloon to 5.22, but he seemed to have turned it around over his final 25 games, posting a 1.66 ERA in that time, with a K:BB ratio of 24:6 in 21.2 innings of work. His final appearance was followed by a highly-emotional interview, as he went into free agency. There was hope among many fans that the D-backs would be able to bring him back, but that has not been fulfilled, and so he’ll be a Pirate next year.
Hudson Tweeted out a message to fans:
Just want to thank the Diamondback organization for the last six years. I couldn't have asked for a better place to begin my career. I owe every pitch, out, inning, game and season from here on out to Ken, Derrick and everyone else there. They stuck with me through some really hard times and my family and me will forever be grateful. I also have to thank the training staff who worked with me through those tough times. Ken, Ryan, Nate, Andrew and everyone else that worked to get me back, thank you from the bottom of my hear.
Thank you, Dbacks fans, for welcoming my family and me into your community with open arms! These six years didn't end the way the(y) started, but I enjoyed every second of my time here! My heart will aways pump Sedona red! I'm excited and grateful for this new opportunity with the Pirates. Let's do this Pittsburgh!! Raise it!
Hudson will be sorely missed, not just as a player but as a person, whose dogged determination and resolve were an inspiration to all. His return from Tommy John, followed by the heart-breaking injury that required a re-run, and a second lengthy rehab, was a storyline I was privileged to follow, and made his eventual successful return to the majors all the more wonderful. Win or lose, he wore his heart on his sleeve, and he’ll join a VERY select list of former Diamondbacks that I still follow on Twitter!
All the best, Huddy. You deserve it.