The Los Angeles Dodgers got a 4-1 road victory over the defending champion Atlanta Braves on Friday night (in Freddie Freeman’s emotional return), but they lost a very important player to a season-ending injury in the process.
Dodgers reliever Daniel Hudson suffered a torn ACL while trying to field a slow groundball off the bat of Ronald Acuña Jr. in the top of the eighth inning. Hudson collapsed to the ground in pain after trying to go after 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 said Daniel Hudson suffered a season-ending ACL injury.
— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) June 25, 2022
So, that’s awful news for Hudson, and it’s a huge loss for the Dodgers’ bullpen.
Losing Daniel Hudson to a season-ending ACL injury is gut-wrenching
The Dodgers lose one of their best relievers and their bullpen takes another massive hit
— Blake Harris (@BlakeHarrisTBLA) June 25, 2022
Hudson, 35, was having a terrific season for the Dodgers. The right-hander had a 2.22 ERA, a bullpen-best 2.06 FIP, and excellent strikeout (11.10 K/9) and walk rates (1.85 BB/9). He led all Dodgers relievers in wins above replacement (WAR) per FanGraphs at 0.8. He was the main setup man ahead of closer Craig Kimbrel — who’s had some shaky outings and a 4.30 ERA — and even had five saves on the season.
Before factoring in Hudson’s injury, FanGraphs and FiveThirtyEight still project Los Angeles to win the most games in the National League.
But this team appears more vulnerable than the juggernaut Dodgers of the past three seasons, and it’s fair to assume that President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman will look to upgrade 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 ahead of the trade deadline, such as Chicago Cubs closer David Robertson or Pittsburgh Pirates closer David Bednar.