Dodgers Team News

Dodgers News: Daniel Hudson Says He May Not Be Ready for the Start of the Season

Dodgers RHP Daniel Hudson is one of the top candidates to be the team’s closer this season. The Dodgers are entering the new season with no true closer, and will likely give anywhere from two to five guys opportunities to play in that role.

Hudson, however, seems to be the potential favorite to commandeer that spot — at least in my eyes — as he has tons of experience pitching in the ninth inning, and had five saves with the team last season before suffering a season-ending torn ACL in June.

Hudson is continuing to work back from that ACL injury, along with some ankle tendinitis and arm issues he’s struggled with this spring. While it at first seemed like a lock for him to be on the Opening Day roster, now he’s not so sure. He told Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register on Monday that he wants to be ready for Opening Day, but also has his ‘eyes on the bigger prize.’

 “I’m still pushing for it,” Hudson said about being ready for Opening Day. “But we’ll see where we’re at in a couple weeks and go from there. … I’m 36. I’m not 26 anymore. That’s just part of getting a little older and the rehab process taking a little longer and bouncing back and stuff like that. It’s definitely been frustrating. At the same time, I’m trying to keep my eyes on the bigger prize of being available towards the end of the season rather than potentially April 1.”

While the Dodgers would love to have Hudson for the entire season, there’s no reason to rush him back for the start of the year. Even if he missed the first few weeks (and it doesn’t even sound like that would be the case), the Dodgers have more than enough depth to withstand the loss, and would be happy to welcome him back and get him ramped up to be the team’s closer.

The most important thing for Hudson is being healthy for the backend of the year, so if that means slowly making his way back in April, then so be it.

The Dodgers need Hudson — the guy who got the last out of the 2019 World Series for the Washington Nationals — to be a full-go come postseason time. So he should continue to slowly work his way back, as long as that means he’ll be fully healthy and ready to go when he returns.

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Noah Camras

Noah is an Editor for Dodgers Nation. He graduated from USC in 2022 with a B.A. in Journalism and minor in Sports Media Studies. He's been a Dodger fan his whole life, and his all-time favorite Dodgers are Matt Kemp and Russell Martin.

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