The season's first four-game set in Phoenix wraps today with Casey Coleman facing former White Sox prospect Daniel Hudson. The Cubs rebounded from Ryan Dempster's disaster with good (enough) outings by Carlos Zambrano and Matt Garza. With a split in hand and April behind them, the Cubs look for the series win.
They'll have to make it happen against a good young pitcher with swing-and-miss stuff. Hudson was the key piece of the Edwin Jackson trade and slid directly into the Diamondback rotation, where he had a very good season.
Hudson averages over 93 mph with his fastball, topping out under 97. He has a slow curve (75), a change-up (83) and a hard slider (86).
His velocity is impressive for a starter, and his pitch mix is also reminiscent of a reliever's.
Generally keeping it away from lefties, Hudson fills the zone against righties.
To reinforce the notion of "swing-and-miss stuff", check out Hudson's whiff rates compared to MLB average (2010-11) by type:
Hudson MLB Curveball .569 .280 Change-up .393 .297 Slider .403 .319 Fastball .180 .164 .263 .209This is in stark contrast to Mr. Pitch to Contact who will be taking the ball for the Cubs. Coleman has an overall whiff rate of .129.