In what was seen as a big blow to the Arizona Diamondbacks, pitcher Daniel Hudson left Tuesday's start with what is suspected to be an elbow injury, which hopefully is not too serious. He already spent time this season on the disabled list with a shoulder issue and has not been consistently effective in his starts when healthy.
That's the bad news, especially considering the fact that the team was counting on him to be a co-ace on the starting pitching staff with Ian Kennedy (which also hasn't been the case). While nothing is known for sure yet, there is a feeling that is could be pretty bad.
But there is an inkling of possible good news, and that has to do with pitching prospect Trevor Bauer, who will make his major league debut for Arizona on Thursday against the Atlanta Braves.
Hudson's injury could pave the way for Bauer's permanent stay.
Bauer is only getting a start at this point because of a fluky and, honestly, fishy injury to Joe Saunders. It was almost as if the team wanted some sliver of an excuse to get him a start in the big leagues just to see what he has. Saunders' shoulder stiffness is likely nothing serious at all, so he would not miss more than a start or two. Then he would come back and Bauer would have to go back to the minors because he is not suited for coming out of the bullpen.
But what would have happened is Bauer had started once or twice and had been dominant, much like he has been this season in the minors (11-1 record and an ERA in the low twos)? With the buzz and hype he has, it would be very difficult to send him back down, despite not having a spot for him here.
Assuming he pitches well. Saunders comes back from injury and Bauer can stay because Hudson is going to be out indefinitely.
This naturally assumes that Bauer continues with the success he has been having, and that does assume a lot. However, it is not completely unreasonable.
As awful as this injury is for the Hudson and to the team, it could be at least a very small blessing in disguise. It could signal the start to a new pitching era in Arizona -- when Bauer-mania hype and Bauer-mania success meet one another and create a buzz for the team that has not been seen since Randy Johnson toed the hill in his dominant days.
A lot of hyperbole? Yes. It is premature. It is speculative. But it is possible. And it is what fans are hoping with the shadow of doubt that Hudson's elbow is casting on the team's 2012 hopes.
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