04/01/12 7:58 PM ET
Hudson ready to roll from spring into season
By AJ Cassavell / Special to MLB.com
For the D-backs right-hander, that's all he really needs heading into the season. The gaudy numbers he put up in spring training were simply an added bonus, further proof that he'll be ready to go when he makes his debut as the club's No. 2 starter Saturday against San Francisco.
Five innings of one-hit ball on Sunday wrapped up a solid spring for Hudson, who finished at 2-0 with a 2.37 ERA in his five starts. He allowed just nine hits in his 19 spring innings, holding opposing hitters to a .136 average.
"I don't think they really matter that much, but you can't argue with the results," Hudson said. "If I would have come out with a nine ERA, but the ball still felt good coming out of my hand, I'd have felt just as good going into the season as I do right now."
Hudson kept Dodgers hitters off-balance all afternoon -- though Los Angeles rested most of its regulars and the few who were in the lineup were removed in the early innings.
The 25-year-old righty threw 66 pitches, 42 of them for strikes, and retired the last 14 batters he faced, five of them on strikeouts.
"I feel comfortable with everything right now," Hudson said after allowing just one run Sunday. "I can't say enough how good the ball feels coming out of my hand. I'm just ready to go and ready for the season to start."
D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said he sees a noticeable difference in Hudson's last two springs.
"He's just more mature," Gibson said. "He understands what he has to do, and he's more able to control his emotions. We'll see if he takes that into the season, but he's had a good spring for us." Hudson allowed his only hit when Dodgers first baseman James Loney doubled home the game's first run. From there, he settled into a groove, retiring the next 14, as the D-backs cruised to an easy win in Glendale.
But the first-inning trouble he ran into Sunday was also a recurring theme in his solid 2011. Hudson's hoping that doesn't carry over, and he doesn't see why it will.
"I tried so many different things last year that you just kind of chalk it up to being one of those crazy things that you just went through one season and hope that it doesn't carry over," Hudson said. "But if something happens and I give up a few runs in the first inning coming out on Saturday, you just figure it out and move through it."
As for that start on Saturday at Chase Field, Hudson was asked if he felt ready for it a week ago, because the way he was pitching certainly indicated as much.
"A little bit longer than that," he replied. "It was a long spring. Now that we're getting down to the end I think we're all pretty excited to get going and play some games that actually mean something."
Drew to be officially placed on DL this week
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- As has been expected for some time, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson announced Sunday that injured shortstop Stephen Drew will be placed on the disabled list this week before the regular season begins on Friday.
Drew hasn't played in a Cactus League game, though he has been recovering steadily this spring from a fractured right ankle and three torn ligaments he suffered when sliding into home plate last July.
The club will meet with Drew and the medical staff later in the week to try and determine a timetable and a plan for Drew's eventual return, Gibson said.
"He's made a tremendous amount of improvement, he really has," Gibson said. "The ground balls are really not an issue for him. He can hit fine, he's been doing a lot more running."
Drew can hit, throw and move to both his left and right, defensively. The one hurdle that remains is for him is to begin running the bases.
D-backs retain Rule 5 Draft pick Lorin
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The D-backs worked out a trade Saturday night that allowed them to retain right-handed pitcher Brett Lorin, who they selected from Pittsburgh in last season's Rule 5 Draft.
The D-backs sent Robby Rowland to the Pirates in order to retain the rights to Lorin, who was outrighted to Double-A Mobile.
Lorin, who got the news that he'd be retained on his 25th birthday, is 1-0 this spring, having allowed three runs in nine innings. In four seasons with a handful of Pirates Minor League clubs, Lorin was 18-16 with a 3.03 ERA. He allowed just 91 walks while striking out 318.
"We wouldn't have traded for him if we didn't like him," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He's a tall kid and he's got pretty lively stuff. If you look at his numbers in the Minor Leagues, he's had pretty good numbers. ... He looks like he's deceptive. We've introduced him to a lot of stuff, and I think he's happy to be in our organization."
The 20-year-old Rowland was was the D-backs' third-round pick in the 2010 Draft. He went 6-13 with a 7.01 ERA in his two seasons in the D-backs system.
D-backs catcher Ryan Budde was removed from Sunday's game in the fourth inning because of a tight right hamstring. He is listed as day to day. In his lone at-bat Sunday, Budde hit his first home run of the spring.
Kirk Gibson had some fun with his players on April Fools' Day, slotting starting pitcher Daniel Hudson at the top of his lineup. "They need to get to work," Gibson said of the rest of his hitters, kidding that he was sending a message for the club's poor spring at the plate. When he corrected the lineup an hour later, third baseman Ryan Roberts was in the leadoff spot.
Gibson on if it feels different playing with a target on his back after winning the NL West in 2011: "I don't feel like we are. I don't know who said that, but it says Gibson and there's a 23 on my back -- it's the same as it was last year."
Unlike Saturday's starter Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson did not have a preference in pitching against the Dodgers or in a Minor League game. Kennedy had asked Gibson for another chance to see the Dodgers hitters before the season, but the decision to start Hudson on Sunday was strictly Gibson's.
AJ Cassavell is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.