Photo by Jordan Megenhardt
By Greg Dillard
Interleague play resumes for the D-backs this weekend, as they play host to the visiting Chicago White Sox at Chase Field.
It will be a series filled with familiar faces for D-backs right-hander Daniel Hudson. The pitcher is in the midst of his second season in Arizona after being traded from Chicago to Arizona last July.
“Obviously it’s going to be pretty cool to face those guys, guys that I played with and everything like that,” Hudson said. “Even more cool is that I’m facing the guy that I got traded for. So it’ll be interesting to see how it goes. I might be a little jacked up at the beginning, but in the end it’s just another game.”
Hudson will toe the rubber in Friday’s series opener against Edwin Jackson.
The D-backs shipped Jackson to the Windy City near last year’s July 31st trade deadline. In return, Chicago packaged Hudson and Minor League pitcher David Holmberg to the desert.
“It’s kind of cool how that worked out,” Hudson said. “I was supposed to face (John) Danks and then the rainout happened and it pushed everybody back. I don’t know if it’s coincidence or what, but it’s pretty neat.”
While the D-backs made a variety of roster transactions last summer, the Hudson trade continues to pay immediate dividends. Heading into Friday’s game, he boasts a 7-5 mark with a 3.82 ERA. In his start last week against Florida, he unleashed six innings of one-run baseball to earn the win. On the other hand, Jackson is 4-5 with a 4.39 ERA in 13 starts for the White Sox this season.
Hudson was a fifth-round pick by Chicago in the 2008 amateur draft out of Old Dominion University. He later signed on June 15 that year, and made his Major League debut on Sept. 4, 2009. The 2010 campaign saw him make three starts with the White Sox. He went 1-1 with a 6.32 ERA.
Since arriving in Arizona, Hudson has settled in nicely as a key piece of the D-backs’ starting rotation. Hudson has teamed with fellow starter Ian Kennedy to form a formidable 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation. The duo has combined for 14 wins through June 16.
Last season, Hudson burst onto the National League scene by posting a 7-1 record in his 11 starts. He allowed two earned runs or less in all but one of his starts, when he surrendered just three earned runs.
He has experienced similar success on the mound once again in 2011. Hudson won three consecutive starts from May 17 to May 27.
Friday night’s start will be Hudson’s 15th of the season, and one he’s been looking forward to for a long time. This weekend’s Interleague series has been on Hudson’s radar since the 2011 regular-season schedule was released.
“As soon as it came out, I saw it,” Hudson said. “As the days started getting closer, I was trying to point out which game I might throw against them and noticed I was going to get the first game, barring a rainout. It’s pretty neat how it worked out.”