There will be a lot of pressure on Atlanta Braves pitcher Tim Hudson this year. With the departure of Javier Vazquez, the Braves will be looking to Hudson to match the loss in innings, strike outs and ERA if the Braves plan to compete this year is going to work, according to the AJC.
There is some optimism on the part of Hudson:
"“Physically I feel better than I did five or six years ago … My arm hasn’t felt this good in eight years. It feels good to be in that good a shape. I’d been having aches and pains, and I just thought that was part of getting older, but now I know my arm wasn’t what it needed to be.”"
There is nothing wrong with putting pressure on your top guy on the mound, but Hudson has been in the league enough to realize that the Braves need a little bit more than him pitching 200-plus innings and K-ing a bunch of guys. They need a decent power hitter and a solid utility guy.
Meanwhile, everyone on Earth is expecting a monster of a season from Tommy Hanson, who is the first Braves rookie to get people excited since Andruw Jones. Hanson is the real deal.
The Braves have a solid rotation, but it would have been so much better with Vazquez left on the team. There is a huge question mark around Derek Lowe, but some still have faith that he can win 15 games and be a solid third starter for the Braves. I tend to agree. I may not be a fan of Lowe’s, but I still think he can pitch in the National League.