When Tim Hudson went on the DL for one of those standard shoulder-issues/mom's-liver-transplant combos, it was easy to imagine the Giants taking their sweet time getting him ready again. It was a scenario that was very, very Giants, and it made a certain amount of sense. Except during the All-Star break, Bruce Bochy unambiguously suggested that Hudson's spot in the rotation is safe, which meant another shoe was going to drop. That other shoe is Ryan Vogelsong, who will move to the bullpen with Hudson off the DL.
Vogelsong was almost the Pitcher of the Month in May, which is bizarre to think about now. Since then, he's been the pitcher he's been since 2013: useful in a pinch, but you'll always lament the pinch for happening. His true calling is probably as the 12th pitcher on a staff these days, so he's finally home. Never forget 2011 and 2012. Raise your glass. Hope there are no more pinches.
The only problem is that Hudson has been, well, completely lousy. The hope is that his shoulder issues really were the problem, and that a little rest and relaxation did him a world of good. Could happen. The Giants need just a couple more months out of him, after all. Except Hudson turned 40 while he was gone, and we're coming up on a full calendar year of lousy.
The move to get Hudson back in the rotation, combined with the unspoken plan to keep Tim Lincecum hidden until the rosters expand, makes me think more than ever that the Giants are going to trade for a starting pitcher in the next two weeks. What they do with Hudson when that happens, well, that will be creative and fascinating.
Imagine if they get another starter and a reliever. 16-man pitching staff with no one but Joaquin Arias on the bench. Calling it now.
Until then, though, we'll get at least a couple more starts from Tim Hudson. Here's hoping the sinker sinks and the command is commanding.