Injury-riddled Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Daniel Hudson hasn't played in a Major League game since the beginning of the 2012 season. But D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said he's hopeful that Hudson will be ready to rejoin the team before season's end.
"I hope it works out for him personally just to reward him for his hard work and dedication," Gibson said Tuesday on the Burns and Gambo show on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
When he arrived in the desert in 2010 following a trade from the Chicago White Sox, Hudson had the makings of an ace, posting an 8-2 record and a 1.69 ERA in 11 starts that season.
Hudson went 16-12 with a 3.49 ERA in 33 starts in 2011, but he was put on the shelf after just nine starts in 2012 due to an elbow injury that resulted in two Tommy John surgeries.
"I don't know if you can imagine what it would be like to be having a great start to a career, and all of a sudden, you've got to have Tommy John surgery," Gibson said. "And then, you've got to rehab for a full year, which is a very long time, you're really one start away from coming back to a big league club, (and you've) got to have another surgery…"
The Diamondbacks reported that Hudson's first rehab assignment on Aug. 5 with their Arizona Rookie League affiliate went well: the right-hander yielded one earned run on two hits on 17 pitches with two strikeouts and no walks.
Hudson said via Twitter that he's felt good through his first two minor league rehab assignments, though he's still working on his command.
Gibson said Hudson's return would be a boost to the team, both on and off the field.
"It's good for our club. We've missed him since we lost him, beyond what he does physically. He has a mentality about himself that's very important to help us move forward."