Tim Hudson Undergoes Ankle Surgery

San Francisco Giants starter Tim Hudson underwent surgery on Friday in Charlotte, North Carolina to remove bone chips in his right ankle, which will reportedly have a recovery period of 8 weeks. This according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, who also adds that he is expected to be ready by opening day:

Schulman also adds that, according to Giants assistant general manager Bobby Evans, the team is still not “actively trying to add a major-league starter”:

Hudson—who has previously stated this will be his final campaign—now has had his second surgery on his right ankle in as many years. The previous one coming, of course, the last time Hudson donned an Atlanta Braves jersey on July 24th, 2013 and was the result of a gruesome collision with Eric Young Jr. at first base. That ankle injury robbed the then-38 year old of his season, however, it appears this one will only require a few weeks of Spring Training for the Giants, who have 6 weeks until camp opens up.

However, the 16-year veteran now adds another layer to a Giants rotation that is one of the most intriguing in baseball. Like Hudson, Matt Cain has recently had bone spurs removed from his right ankle. Unlike Hudson, Cain also had bone chips removed from his right arm last season—likely a factor in his 4.18 ERA and 4.58 FIP across 90 and 1/3 innings. The Giants believe, and hope a healthy Cain will return to his pre-2013 form, but will he?

Sticking with the theme of Giant aces, Madison Bumgarner. The lefty posted a second straight season in 2014 with an ERA south of three, saw his K/9 rise for the third straight season, and cut his 2013 BB/9 rate of 2.77 down by almost one whole walk to 1.78 in 2014. Will Bumgarner continue to improve, or might he regress slightly?

And don’t forget about the recently re-signed Jake Peavy, this will be his first full season with the Giants. Will he revert to the Peavy that posted a 4.72 ERA and 4.80 FIP over 124 innings for the Red Sox in the first half of last season, or will he be closer to the Peavy that posted a 2.17 ERA and 3.03 FIP across 78 and 2/3 innings for San Francisco in the second half?

Of course the struggles of former 2-Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum have been well documented, but manager Bruce Bochy has said he sees him back in the rotation. The question here is obvious, which Lincecum will appear in 2015?

Now to top all of those off, the 39-year old Hudson is expected to return to form following another ankle surgery. While Hudson did post a great first half in 2014, his numbers tailed off towards the end of the season, going from a first half ERA of 2.87 to a second half ERA of 4.73.

It will be interesting to see if the Giants truly stay pat and do not pursue someone like the California-sick Dan Haren who would be easily inserted into the bottom half of the rotation should Hudson face a set-back, Cain struggle again to find his grove, or Lincecum remain in the funk he is currently in.

As for Hudson, though, it’s not a stretch to imagine that he has one final good season in the tank, should he fully recover from this ankle surgery.

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