April rest paying off for Hudson

April rest paying off for Hudson

SAN FRANCISCO -- While throwing moderated short bullpen sessions the past two days, Tim Hudson has grown even more excited about the arm strength that he gained while resting throughout the month of April.

Throwing with an effort level that he approximated as a little more than 50 percent, Hudson completed a 15-pitch bullpen session Tuesday and a 20-pitch session Wednesday. His current schedule has him targeted to throw 75 pitches off the mound next week.

"It felt awesome," Hudson said. "I wasn't feeling this good when I was throwing bullpens and stuff like that before the surgery. That tells me that whatever was in there has been fixed."

Hudson's right elbow was repaired via the Tommy John ligament-transplant surgery that he underwent on Aug. 8. Based on the progress that he's realized since interrupting his rehab process by not throwing in April, the 33-year-old right-hander still believes that he'll be pitching in a Major League game in August.

Whether he returns during the early or latter portion of August depends on whether the Braves want him to return as a starter or a reliever. All current indications are that the former 20-game winner will be placed back in the rotation when he proves healthy enough to resume pitching.

Within the next couple of weeks, the Braves are expected to promote Tommy Hanson. But while there's a chance that Kris Medlen won't keep his rotation spot for Sunday's scheduled start, Hanson likely won't be utilized in his place.

If the Braves choose to go with somebody other than Medlen, the more likely choice might be Charlie Morton, who is 6-2 with a 2.91 ERA in nine starts for Triple-A Gwinnett this year.

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