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Who's slower: Orlando Hudson, or the Dodgers' front office?

Feb 5, 2010, 3:20 PM EDT

The Twins and their fans are understandably giddy over the Orlando Hudson signing, but Joel Sherman of the New York Post is throwing a bit of cold water on the O-Dog today:

No doubt Hudson is a better player than Castillo and, thus, would have
helped the Mets more. But Dodgers officials were actually disappointed
in Hudson’s overall game and, remember, Joe Torre benched Hudson in favor of Ronnie Belliard late in the year. They were quickly surprised that Hudson was not
faster with a few inside the organization derisively turning his
nickname from O-Dog to Slow-Dog.

Keith Law, who worked in the Blue Jays front office when Hudson was there, thinks that to the extent Hudson’s lack of speed surprised the Dodgers, it was a failure of their own scouting, not any falloff from Hudson:

I saw Hudson a lot when we
were both in Toronto, and he was never a plus runner . . .  And from talking to
people with Arizona, I know they noticed the same phenomenon when
Hudson played there. Unfortunately, I think the cause here is that
Hudson looks the part of a speedy, low-power middle infielder, and
scouts and coaches are making assumptions that just don’t bear out in
reality. He’s not fast, he’s never been fast, and anyone who files a
report on him with a grade of 50 (average) or better for his running
speed has made a bad evaluation.

So there you have it anonymous, name-calling Dodgers officials: Orlando Hudson is rubber and you’re glue and what you say about the O-Dog bounces off him and sticks to you.

  1. Son of Shane Mack - Feb 5, 2010 at 3:33 PM

    Hudson may not be speedy or play gold-glove caliber defense anymore. However, last year the Twins got the worst production in the majors from both the 2nd spot in the order and 2B. So the important formulas are:
    Hudson > Punto
    Hudson > Casilla
    Hudson > Tolbert
    Less Punto = More Wins
    Even average production (as in VORP = 0) would be a huge boost for the Twins at this position. The Twins have had a knack for finding replacement players that are far below replacement value and playing them far too much. Hopefully this will help.
    Punto’s a capable utility player. Unfortunately, he’s rarely been used as such. The Twins have used him as if he’s the second coming of Cesar Tovar. He has a tendency to hit much more like Mendoza, though.

  2. Charles Gates - Feb 5, 2010 at 3:49 PM

    ‘Orlando Hudson’ is an anagram for ‘Han Solo Run Odd’

    See, makes sense now, doesn’t it?

  3. ecp - Feb 5, 2010 at 3:56 PM

    Gold Gloves aside, he also hasn’t been a plus defender since 2005.

  4. Union - Feb 5, 2010 at 4:07 PM

    Some funny $hit. You sir have made my day.

  5. Bill@TDS - Feb 5, 2010 at 4:37 PM

    I continue to believe that Punto, thanks to his defense and willingness to draw a walk, is roughly an average starter (when his luck evens out and the hits are falling). I’d say less Harris with a glove on = more wins. Either way, this is good.

  6. Matthew S. - Feb 5, 2010 at 4:38 PM

    Who know who else isn’t fast? Ronnie Belliard.

  7. Alex Poterack - Feb 5, 2010 at 5:00 PM

    I would be remiss not to point out that VORP=0 is not average production; VORP=0 refers to a freely available talent level, and average production is not freely available; remember, no matter what, half of all major leaguers are below average.
    That said, I see your general point, I just had to nitpick that.

  8. Joey B - Feb 5, 2010 at 5:12 PM

    To be honest, I never quite got the Mets’ fans obsession with signing Hudson and eating salary on Castillo. He’s better, but nothing to write home about.

  9. Son of Shane Mack - Feb 5, 2010 at 5:43 PM

    Good Point. I didn’t get that quite right.

  10. twins2010 - Feb 5, 2010 at 6:36 PM

    You are exactly right Matt. Belliard is not fast, and is below average defensively. Even if Hudson has slipped, he is better than Belliard has ever been. Torre went with the “hot hand” in the post season, but Hudson had similar stats for the year, is better than Belliard for their careers, and is 2 years younger
    (34 vs 32). Plus Hudson was credited by both Billingsley and Kershaw as being the defensive anchor of the Dodgers infield. He is also considered a great clubhouse guy every where he has been.
    Belliard 09: .277avg .325ob .451slg .778ops
    Hudson 09: .283 .357 .417 .774
    Belliard .275 .339 .418 .757
    Hudson .282 .348 .431 .779
    I love this deal! Go Twinkies!

  11. Paul - Feb 5, 2010 at 10:09 PM

    “Plus Hudson was credited by both Billingsley and Kershaw as being the defensive anchor of the Dodgers infield.”
    Yes. Never trust UZR or any of the other lame fielding metrics. Prior to last year, more than a few Dodgers’ fans were talking smack about his fielding. They ate their words and I enjoyed taunting them along the way. Have ecp (see the one comment) watch every game this year, so he/she too can eat her/his words. To say that he hasn’t been a plus defender is simply absurd. A point on which Bills and Kershaw would agree. Lastly, I don’t really think that it had anything to do with speed. Hudson hit for the cycle during the home opener (first ever Dodger to hit for the cycle at home) and was otherwise on fire early when the Dodgers got out to that big early lead. It was foolish to expect him to be able to continue at that pace. He later got his revenge for the shabby treatment by hitting a HR in his last PA. The “beauty” this year will be in the fact that now that Ronnie B doesn’t have competition, he’ll revert to the loafer that the Nats thought he was in bidding him a fond adieu.

  12. JoeT - Feb 7, 2010 at 5:36 PM

    I watched most of the Dodger games last year and I can state for a fact that O-Dog is fast. He started out the season batting well over .300, made the all-star team, and ran down pop ups right and left. Orlando won a gold glove for second base play, deservedly. What happened is O-Dog started losing steam soon after the All-Star game, either because of injurys or fatigue. His batting average fell markedly going into the last half of the season. And he had a bonus clause in his contract that kicked in if he reached a certain number of at bats. This was a good reason for the Dodgers to deny him those few at bats he needed for his bonus to kick in. Ronnie Belliard hit .351 with 5 home runs for the Dodgers in 77 at bats. Belliard really delivered, but I don’t think he is fast or a good defensive player.

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