The Los Angeles Dodgers cruised to a 4-1 road win over defending champion Atlanta Braves on Friday night (in Freddie Freeman’s emotional comeback), but they lost a very important player to an injury ending to the season in the process.
Dodgers reliever Daniel Hudson suffered a torn ACL while trying to field a slow ground ball off Ronald Acuña Jr.’s bat in the top of the eighth inning. Hudson collapsed to the ground in pain after trying to chase the ball.
Daniel Hudson goes down with what looks like a knee injury. pic.twitter.com/Z36jg8lo77
— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) June 25, 2022
#Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts says Daniel Hudson suffered a season-ending ACL injury.
—Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) June 25, 2022
So, this is terrible news for Hudson, and it’s a huge loss for the Dodgers bullpen.
Losing Daniel Hudson to a season-ending ACL injury is heartbreaking
Dodgers lose one of their best relievers and their bullpen takes another blow
— Blake Harris (@BlakeHarrisTBLA) June 25, 2022
Hudson, 35, had a terrific season for the Dodgers. The right-hander had an ERA of 2.22, a best FIP of 2.06, and excellent strikeout (11.10 K/9) and walk (1.85 BB/9) rates. He led all Dodgers relievers in wins over substitution (WAR) by FanGraphs at 0.8. He was the main preparer ahead of closer Craig Kimbrel – who had shaky outings and a 4.30 ERA – and even made five saves during the season.
Before factoring in Hudson’s injury, FanGraphs and FiveThirtyEight still predict Los Angeles will win the most National League games.
But this team looks more vulnerable than the Dodgers juggernaut of the past three seasons, and it’s fair to assume that President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman will look to improve the roster at the trade deadline to boost their title chances.
With the loss of Hudson, it would certainly make sense for the all-in Dodgers to target another high-leverage reliever before the trade deadline, such as the Chicago Cubs closer to David Robertson or the Pittsburgh Pirates closer. by David Bednar.