Hudson makes case for D-backs' rotation in loss to Rockies
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) Daniel Hudson looked strong in a short outing, showing both sides of the argument on whether he should start or relieve for the Arizona Diamondbacks in their 2-1 loss to the Colorado Rockies in a split-squad game Sunday.
Hudson didn't allow a run and struck out four while allowing three hits. But the right-hander was lifted after Noel Cuevas' two-out triple in the fourth on his 72nd pitch.
The Diamondbacks have a soft 85-pitch limit for Hudson as he returns from a second elbow ligament-replacement surgery. Manager Chip Hale has said they'll make a decision this week on whether to make Hudson a starter or reliever.
''Stuff-wise it's there. I just think he needs some time to pitch,'' catcher Gerald Laird said. ''He's had what 2 1/2 years off? It's going to take some time, but I like what I see.''
Rockies starter Jordan Lyles allowed one run and three hits in six innings.
Colorado's Justin Morneau and Daniel Descalso hit solo home runs off Rubby De La Rosa.
Diamondbacks: Hudson worked around leadoff walks in the first and third. His fastball hit 96 mph. ''For a couple of hitters there, I'd lose the release point and fly open a little bit and fall behind,'' Hudson said. ''My two-strike pitches were better today. . It'll come.''
Rockies: Lyles struck out four in his sixth spring start. The right-hander is in line to start the third regular season game April 8 at Milwaukee.
Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez acknowledged he panicked when he had to leave Friday night's game against San Diego with pain in his surgically repaired left knee.
''I was really scared because all of the things I went through in the offseason,'' Gonzalez said.
But Gonzalez declared he was pain-free Sunday morning, and a little disappointed he wasn't in the lineup.
''I thought it was only going to be one day (off), but it's something that Duggie decided,'' Gonzalez said, referring to trainer Keith Dugger. ''I'm not going to go against him because it's spring training. . But (Monday) I'll probably be in there.''
The two-time All-Star has been slowed by various injuries the past two seasons. He had his patella tendon repaired in August.
''I checked with the doctor and he said, of course, there are going to be some days when I don't feel great. It's normal,'' Gonzalez said. ''I just have to keep working out and getting that leg stronger.''
Diamondbacks: Laird stayed in after taking a foul tip off his left knee in the fifth. ''One of those ones where you're like, ''Why did I pick this position?'' he said.
Rockies: RHP Jon Gray, roughed up Saturday, reported a mild groin strain Sunday. . OF Corey Dickerson (tight back) didn't make the trip to Hermosillo, Mexico, for the other game against Arizona. But it's not considered serious.
TOMAS AT FIRST
Struggling at third base this spring, Cuban defector Yasmany Tomas made his first Cactus League start at first for Arizona.
The 24-year-old Tomas, signed in the offseason to a six-year, $68.5 million deal, didn't have any grounders hit to him, but caught every throw his way. He went 1 for 2 and is hitting. 273.
Hale hasn't ruled out sending Tomas to the minors to start the season.
It's been a rough spring for Rockies outfielder Drew Stubbs. In line to be the fourth outfielder, Stubbs started in center and struck out three times.
Stubbs has 23 strikeouts in 41 at-bats. He's hitting .195.
What the Diamondbacks do with Hudson will affect numerous other moves on a staff with plenty of questions and no ace.
''We're going to have some tough decisions, with the starting rotation, with the bullpen,'' Hale said. ''Where Hudson ends up will change the dynamic of each one.''
Diamondbacks: RHP Allen Webster starts Monday against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Rockies: RHP Eddie Butler starts Monday against Oakland.