Weekly Rundown: Tim Hudson, late-season Jewel of the South

Known as the Sacagawea of fantasy primers, the Weekly Rundown guides head-to-head owners through a forest of obscure stats and exploitable matchups in an attempt to help solve lineup conundrums. While reading, keep in mind matchups are subject to change due to managerial moves, unforeseen injuries and Mother Nature's influences.

Excitement surrounding September call-ups is unequivocally palpable. Already several pre-roster expansion additions have made a noticeable impact (i.e. Chris Davis(notes) and Eric Young Jr.). But lost in the fanfare of the youth movement, one of fantasy's historically dependable mound anchors is on the brink of making his season debut.

On Monday, Atlanta rotation rock Tim Hudson(notes) will make his triumphant return to the majors. Recovering from Tommy John surgery over the past several months, the 34-year-old groundball coaxer struggled initially during his arduous five-game rehab stint, particularly locating his fastball. However, his 3.38 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, and 11:2 K:BB split in 18.2 innings at Gwinnett was encouraging.

Cautious owners questing for an October champagne shower understandably would never trust a starter coming off a major arm procedure. It can take weeks or even months for a player to fully regain his pre-surgery form. On occasion, some never rebound. But because Hudson is a variable finesse pitcher, the odds of a quick recovery are fairly strong.

For now, the Braves brain trust plans to install a six-man rotation to accommodate the two-time All-Star. However, according to Hudson, his appearances might be somewhat erratic:

"I'm not saying that I'm going to be in there every five days from here on out. I'm not saying that at all. But if there is a time where I start a game and it might be eight or nine days before I get in there again, then sure I'd go down to the 'pen and help them out if that's where I could be used until my next start."

It's difficult to assess exactly how the righty will be deployed. If he does net roughly 6-7 starts, he could prove very useful, especially over the final 10 days of the season. During that stretch the Braves face perennial NL doormat Washington twice.

Undoubtedly, employing the 40-percent owned hurler is a roll of the dice. But because of his terrific command (career 2.76 BB/9), excellent GB/FB splits (2.55) and lack of a pitch count restriction, risk takers could be richly rewarded.

Fearless Forecast (rest of season): 37.1 innings, 3 W, 3.98 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 24 K

DOUBLE DIPPERS

For stream conscious owners who want to push the innings-pitched envelope this is the list for you. Run support, ballpark factors, historical and recent trends, opposing offenses, opposing SPs, managerial tendencies and meteorological influences are painstakingly taken into account to give you the top double dippers of each week.


Other NL Double Dippers: Doug Davis(notes), Ari (at LAD, at Col), Braden Looper(notes), Mil (at StL, SF), Livan Hernandez(notes), Was (at SD, Fla), Yusmeiro Petit(notes), Ari (at LAD, at Col), Tim Stauffer(notes), SD (Was, at LAD), Josh Fogg(notes), Col (NYM, Ari), Kip Wells(notes), Cin (Pit, at Atl)


Other AL Double Dippers: Jeremy Guthrie(notes), Bal (NYY, Tex), Doug Fister(notes), Sea (LAA, at Oak), Luke French(notes), Sea (LAA, at Oak), Brett Cecil(notes), Tor (at Tex, NYY), David Huff(notes), Cle (at Det, Min), Armando Gabino(notes), Min (ChW, at Cle)

FEAST OR FAMINE?

Torn between two stat-similar infielders this week? Use the pitching and hitting staff sorters below to help you decide whether or not Adam LaRoche or Rick Porcello is fantasy feast or famine. Stats are for games played through August 27:


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