Tim Hudson may have earned the win, but Wednesday was a net loss for the Braves and their veteran starter.
Hudson sustained a fractured right ankle in the eighth inning of the Braves' 8-2 win over the Mets on Wednesday, ending his season in the process. Hudson had his ankle stepped on by Eric Young Jr. while covering first base and had to be carted off the field.
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It's a tough blow for all parties involved. The 38-year-old was set up to make what could possibly be his last run at a championship, as he's in the final year of his deal with the club. And the Braves just disabled another starter, Paul Maholm, on Monday, leaving them considerably short-handed in the near term.
The Braves' answer may come in the form of a familiar face. Starter Brandon Beachy, who hasn't pitched in a major league game since June 16, 2012, has been on a rehab assignment and is close to making his return from Tommy John surgery. The right-hander allowed two runs, one earned, in a six-inning start at Triple-A Gwinnett Wednesday night. It was slated to be his last or next-to-last rehab start, so the Braves may opt for the former given Hudson's injury.
Beachy was having a career year in 2012 before the injury, compiling a 2.00 ERA and 0.96 WHIP over 81 innings. For his career, he owns a 3.07 ERA with a 252/82 K/BB rate in 237 2/3 innings.
Recovery from Tommy John surgery is still no sure thing, but pitchers have gotten better at rehabilitating their arms as the surgery has become more prevalent. That said, we saw with Adam Wainwright last year that even the best pitchers require some time to regain that prior form. Also troubling with Beachy is the lack of control he's shown in his minor league starts -- he's issued 15 walks in 25 innings, or 5.4 walks per nine innings, thus far at Triple-A.
Beachy is a must-own in NL-only leagues for what he's done in the past, but mixed league owners might want to take a flyer and a watch-and-see approach before relying on the 26-year-old.
David Price is making up for lost time.
The southpaw missed a month and a half with a triceps injury earlier this year, limiting him to just 55 innings pitched through June. Price hasn't made fewer than 31 starts or thrown fewer than 208 innings since the beginning of the 2010 season.
Since returning from the disabled list on July 2, Price has been that workhorse once again. In the five starts since coming back, Price is 4-1 with three complete games and a 1.76 ERA over 41 innings. The 27-year-old has lowered his ERA from 5.24 to 3.75 in that span.
His most recent gem came Wednesday, when he threw a five-hit complete game against the Red Sox. He allowed only a Mike Napoli solo home run for all the Red Sox scoring on the night, needing just 97 pitches to finish the job. After the game, Rays manager Joe Maddon offered a scary assessment of his ace.
"It's just hard to imagine a guy pitching better than he is right now," Maddon told the Tampa Bay Tribune. "I don't think I've seen it regarding quality of pitches, quality of stuff, location, good hitting ball club. He's really on top of his game. That's an understatement."
If there was a window to buy low on Price, it's long gone by now.
It came out Wednesday that the Nationals will be without starter Ross Detwiler longer than originally expected.
The Nationals had hoped Detwiler would be ready to return from a back injury shortly after the All-Star break, but the team announced Wednesday that he will miss at least another month due to a disc issue that led to a pinched nerve in his back. Detwiler previously missed four weeks due to a right oblique strain, limiting the lefty to just 13 starts thus far.
Rookie Taylor Jordan will continue to fill in for the short term, but Nationals manager Davey Johnson said Jordan is about 20 or 30 innings from being shut down for the year. Jordan is in his second year back from Tommy John surgery, and as showcased last season, the club is cautious when it comes to innings limits and major elbow surgery.
It leaves the Nats in a bit of a spot. At 48-53, they're nine games back of both the Braves in the NL East and the Reds for the second Wild Card spot. The team is built to win now, and with two Wild Card spots it seems no team is ever too far out of contention at the trade deadline. With names like Jake Peavy and Bud Norris being floated as trade possibilities, it'll be interesting to see if Nationals GM Mike Rizzo gets into the action.
National League Quick Hits: B.J. Upton (groin) played catch and took batting practice on Wednesday ... Kyle Blanks (Achilles) will not be activated from the disabled list when first eligible on Saturday ... John Gast will undergo season-ending surgery on his left lat ... Ryan Hanigan (wrist) won't be activated from the disabled list on Thursday ... Jeff Francoeur will be the Giants' regular left fielder going forward ... Donovan Hand (hand) is expected to make his next scheduled start on Sunday.
American League Quick Hits: Derek Jeter (quad) is unlikely to return from the disabled list when first eligible on Saturday ... Miguel Cabrera (hip) missed his second consecutive game on Wednesday ... the Royals and Rangers are two teams being linked to Alex Rios. The Rangers are also in on Hunter Pence and Kendrys Morales ... the A's, Red Sox and Cardinals are all names being mentioned with regards to a Jake Peavy trade ... Garrett Richards will take Joe Blanton's spot in the Angels' rotation ... Josh Hamilton (ankle) is expected to return to the Angels' lineup on Thursday ... David Phelps (forearm) will make at least one more rehab start before being activated from the DL ... Gordon Beckham is still dealing with discomfort in his left wrist ... Lance Berkman (hip) is "probably still not quite ready" to return to the Rangers' lineup ... Matt Garza threw 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball to win his first start as a member of the Rangers.
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- Tim Hudson
- Tommy John surgery
- Brandon Beachy