So far, getting Orland Hudson has been worth losing the 17th pick in the draft. However, there is a long way to go in the season, and that was always my concern – whether the O–Dog could stay healthy. So far, he may have been the best free agent pickup of the off season. Let’s hope he stays healthy, because if he does, he’ll help put us in position to win a championship this year.
He was injured the last two years during the stretch run, which is part of the reason the D-Backs let him walk. Not only is he a great offensive player who leads our team in offense, but he’s just as good (maybe better) defensively. I have given credit to Russ Martin for the low ERA of our pitching staff, but a lot of credit has to go the Hudson, who has set-the-tone for the Dodgers defense by running, diving and hustling to steal hits all over the field. He has save us untold runs, so far. I believe that it has become contagious and that other players are really stepping up as well.
Our “up-the-middle” defense is about as good as any team in baseball, and Loney is becoming Gold-Glove Caliber at 1B. Don’t underestimate Casey Blake, who makes the routine play and sometimes the spectacular. Martin, Furcal, Hudson and Kemp save us a lot of runs – that’s for sure.
The Diamondbacks have the 16th and 17th picks in the Draft which starts this afternoon. High draft picks are significant and while they are not the ‘end-all, be-all” a smart club can get excellent players in high spots. This year, we don’t draft until 56th, but let’s not forget that Mike Piazza was a 62ed round pick.
Chris Young vs. Chad Billingsley
Lineup to Follow: