Giants righty Tim Hudson says he’s hanging up his cleats after the season, as John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports on Twitter. Previously, the 40-year-old had indicated that he was likely to retire, but it now appears he has made up his mind.
“This is definitely my last year, for sure,” said the veteran. “It’s the right thing to do. It’s the right time for me and my family.”
This season hasn’t been quite the send-off that Hudson might have hoped for (though he had quite a memorable outing last night). He has missed time due to injury and is carrying an ERA over four per nine for just the third time in 17 seasons.
But Hudson is still remarkably useful given his age. He has continued to generate a groundball rate of over 50% and would undoubtedly draw plenty of interest as a free agent were he to consider signing.
Still, it’s not terribly surprising to hear that Hudson has decided to call it quits. He has made clear throughout the year that things were likely headed in that direction. And as he and his wife discussed in the above-linked piece, via Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, a variety of considerations beyond pitching capability have driven the decision.
We’ll have to wait until the end of the year to make a final tally of Hudson’s overall body of work, but needless to say, it will be impressive. Hudson broke into the league with the Athletics back in 1999, spent nine years with the Braves, and capped it off in San Francisco. All told, he has racked up over 3,000 innings with a lifetime earned run average of less than 3.50 runs per nine innings.
Those results came mostly via a sterling 58.0% career groundball rate rather than dominant strikeout tallies. In fact, Hudson has averaged only 6.0 K/9 against 2.6 BB/9 in his career. He nevertheless managed to compile over fifty wins above replacement over his career as a consistent, quality, and durable rotation piece.
That body of work is probably not enough to get him into Cooperstown, but Hudson undoubtedly rates as one of the best pitchers of his era.