Club “33”

May 8, Phoenix – So the streak is now over. We learned on Monday night that Orlando Hudson is human and he actually played in a game and did not reach safely in that game. For the first 33 games, he managed his way on base..someway or somehow. Though he did drive in one of the incredibly rare runs in his team’s win over Philly with a sac fly, we now take a quick look at where he stands after not touching first base cleanly.

33_1As Bob Melvin toyed with his lineup this spring and still toys with it on occasion, Hudson has found his home in the 3-spot, you know the one where the best all-around hitters live. In comparison to all other number three hitters in the big leagues, there aren’t many who compare to Orlando. His 43 hits are second to Derrek Lee’s 46, while his 26 RBI’s are more than any three hole hitter, David Ortiz is second with 25.

Orlando_hudson_2_2When comparing him to all second basemen in both leagues, only Placido Polanco’s 44 hits stack up higher and Chase Utley is even with Hudson and his 26 RBI’s. BJ Upton is hitting .379, Polanco .361 and Orlando .333.

So whether he is matched up with his peers in the batting order or his fellow second sackers, he is in fabulous company. His last 20 at bats right handed have netted 8 hits after he struggled from that side early in the season. Since 2003, his batting average has risen each year as well as his RBI total. We haven’t even mentioned that in the last two years of that timeline, he has taken home a Gold Glove.

200_hits_1If he keeps this up (and I realize that it’s early), he will reach 200 hits. Only one time in the history of the Diamondbacks has a hitter climbed that mountain, it was Luis Gonzalez in 1999.

Tom_glavine_1Now here’s the best part, Orlando respects the game, his teammates, his opponents and the game’s history as much as anyone I’ve ever covered. When I asked him about facing Tom Glavine the other night he told me he was honored to take his cuts against him because of all the left hander had accomplished in this game and made sure to mention to me that he was a sure fire Hall of Famer. Then he respectfully launched one over the wall against the soon to be 300 game winner.

In the next few days, we’ll talk about the impact of family with Benji Molina and Billy Wagner. See you at the ballpark.

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2 comments

  1. tennsmokifan@charter.net

    Daron:
    Just wanted to say I really like this article on Orlando. I have followed him since his days in Double A in Tennessee. He’s as good a friend as he is a ball player. I always knew since the first time I saw him play he would accomplish everything he already has and will accomplish much much more! Tell him Barb says HI

    Barb Melvin

    Sevierville, TN

  2. Kellia

    Hudson’s blossoming in the three hole is further proof that Melvin would be better off finding out where each batter belongs and sticking with it unless someone is in a terrible slump and hurting the team where he is, or a situation like last night with Chad Tracy. I see the sense of trying to keep Tracy sharp by giving him some ABs while he recovers, but I don’t see why a guy who can’t hang on to the bat as he usually does should hit cleanup, Tracy’s getting a hit last night notwithstanding because you saw how out of sorts he was when he struck out (twice).

    Now that the lineup has an anchor with O-Dawg at three, the next thing to do is to find Eric Byrnes’ spot. Joe Dirt, as you call him–and I think that’s a great nickname that conveys the nature of his blue collar playing style much better than “Pigpen”, so I hope Joe Dirt sticks, bats wherever he’s told to. But since his challenge is consistency, I think he, and therefore the team, are best served by giving him a consistent role, rather than having him all over the lineup where the expectations differ every day.

    I’ve thought about this a lot, and though I’d like to see him as a big-time RBI guy in the heart of the line up, I think the numbers would bear out that he’s at his best in the two-hole. Chris Young should bat lead-off. He’s heating up now so the team can get off to a good start with him. He’s fast, which is what you want a tablesetter to be. Byrnesie batting second would have RBI opportunities with Young hitting doubles or walking/singling and stealing second in front of him. The two hole is also a great place for Byrnesie to steal from. And with the reliable O-Dawg behind him, especially the times Hudson bats lefty and can pull a ball into right field Byrnesie should make it to third or score a lot.

    ByrnesBlogger1

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