Now Commenting On:

{"event":["spring_training" ] }

Hudson acknowledges he has work to do

Hudson acknowledges he has work to do play video for Hudson acknowledges he has work to do

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- When Tim Hudson exited his start against the Tigers on Feb. 27, he was confident that he would have plenty of time to build necessary arm strength. But with two weeks left until the regular season, the veteran is growing a little more concerned.

"My pitches aren't the quality that I need them to be," Hudson said. "For me, the arm strength is not there yet. I'm 87 to 89 [mph]. That's not very good for me. Hopefully, that will get better. If not, then 'uncle.' I've just got to keep working hard, staying in the weight room, trying to get a little stronger."

Hudson spent some extra time conditioning after he limited the Mets to two runs and five hits in a season-high six innings during Friday's 5-2 loss at Champion Stadium. The 37-year-old right-hander was much more consistent than he had been in his previous few outings, but he exited knowing he has some work to do before April 1.

According to FanGraphs, the average velocity of Hudson's four-seam fastball last year was 89 mph. Now one year older, he is finding it a little more difficult to generate the velocity and the arm strength necessary to make his other pitches more effective.

"The more your body gets in shape and your legs get in shape and you get a little stronger, the more consistent you're going to be," he said. "I can throw 89, 90 pretty consistently, but it's max effort. I need to get that little extra where I'm pitching at 89, 90 and not throwing at 89, 90."

Both of the runs and three of the hits Hudson surrendered on Friday came during the second inning. Lucas Duda began the inning with one of the three home runs Hudson has allowed in 20 innings this spring. That matches the total he surrendered in the 113 1/3 innings he threw in exhibition games from 2006-12.

Hudson has allowed at least two runs in four of the five starts that followed his scoreless debut on Feb. 22. He will attempt to complete seven innings during his next start and then likely pitch three or four innings during his final start before the regular season.

"My delivery is getting more consistent," he said. "I think [by throwing] a couple more times on the side, I can clean that up a little bit. It's heading in the right direction. It's just taking a little longer than I would like. We'll get there."

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"event":["spring_training" ] }
{"event":["spring_training" ] }
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español