The San Francisco Giants enter the 2015 MLB season with some new faces, some high expectations, and the hope of ending their every-other-year trend by winning a World Series in 2015. As the MLB season nears, Giants reporters have been able to update fans on the injury statuses on some key players, such as starting pitchers Tim Hudson and Matt Cain.
Hudson had surgery in January to remove bone chips from his right ankle, which is the same ankle that he fractured and had surgery on during the 2013 season. Right after the surgery, Hudson was expected to be ready and fully healthy by Opening Day while hopefully getting some starts in spring training too.
According to Alex Pavlovic of Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area, Hudson is two to three weeks behind his normal schedule.
“The timing wasn’t great, but I’m glad it’s fixed,” Hudson said. “I’m looking at it as getting ready for Opening Day and the start of the year, not necessarily the start of spring training. Whether that’s two or five [spring training starts], I really don’t know. It’s an arm thing now. I’ve got to get my arm in shape.”
Hudson’s ankle bothered him throughout the beginning of the 2014 season, and once it felt better, he started to feel pain in his hip, most likely from over-compensation for the ankle. The good news for the Giants and their fans is that Hudson’s hip and ankle are both getting better and will hopefully not give him any problems this upcoming season.
In addition to this injury update, Hudson stated in the same interview with Pavlovic that he will most likely retire after the 2015 season. Hudson contemplated retiring after the 2014 season with the idea that he’d go out as a World Series champion but ultimately decided that 2015, his 17th season, would most likely be his last season instead.
Hudson did say though that if he was feeling physically strong at the end of the 2015 season that he could perhaps change his mind and decide to hold off on retiring.
Another one of the Giants’ starters is also recovering this offseason from surgery. Cain underwent surgery on his right elbow in August 2014 to remove bone chips that had bothered him throughout his career. Like Hudson, Cain is expected to be ready by April, and Bruce Bochy said that he’s heard nothing but good news from the Giants trainer Dave Groeschner about Cain’s progress so far.
Cain also spoke with Pavlovic recently about his frustrating season last year and how he’s feeling now:
“I wasn’t able to consistently repeat the same delivery that I wanted to over and over again, and that was getting frustrating,” he said. “I almost see it as a new beginning. I feel really good right now. I feel as good as I did when I almost first signed with these guys.”
“I’ve underperformed the last year and a half, and that’s something I don’t want to do again,” he said. “I know what I’m capable of doing.”
Cain is working on consistency with his delivery right now, and he isn’t concerned about his velocity at this point. Cain continues to throw more pitches each day, and he said he does some form of throwing five days out of the week.
There are some question marks surrounding the Giants’ starting rotation this year, and if Hudson and Cain can stay healthy in 2015, the Giants’ starting rotation will be much more stable and consistent. Who knows if Hudson will put up the impressive numbers that he did to start out 2014 and if Cain will return to his ace-level of pitching, but both these starters’ health is key to the success of the Giants’ starting pitching staff.