Its been over a decade since Orlando Hudson has played third base. 2001 to be exact at Triple-A Syracuse. Yep, a long time ago.
But when the White Sox had the chance to add the veteran second baseman and 4-time Gold Glove winner, who is ready and willing to play the hot corner, they jumped at the chance.
As soon as the league allowed me to, general manager Kenny Williams said Tuesday.
Hudson takes the roster spot of Brent Morel, placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained back. Rookie Eduardo Escobar starts at third base Tuesday night against the Twins, but expect to see Hudson get his fair share of shots there until Morel comes back. Hell also back-up Gordon Beckham at his usual position, second base.
Beckham made the switch from third to second. Can Hudson easily make the transition from second to third?
A ground ball is a ground ball, but it definitely comes a little harder down at third base, Hudson said. Im not going to sit here and say Im going to make every play. After the game you might be like, What are you doing booting that ball that ends up losing the game? But Im human. It happens. Its baseball.
Hudson reminded reporters that Alex Rodriguez, Cal Ripken Jr., and Omar Vizquel all moved over to third base later in their careers. Hudson is prepared to do the same. He took ground balls there during batting practice. Plus, he gives Robin Ventura a switch-hitter to add into the mix.
Hudson had the chance to start right away for another team, but preferred the opportunity with the White Sox. The former Twin knows the franchise, Williams has been after him before, and hes friends with many guys in the clubhouse.
I played with Jesse Crain. Adam Dunn and I have known each other since he first signed. I came up with Alex Rios in Toronto. Its like homegrown here.
Hudson batted just .211 with the Padres, but is tied for the major league lead with five triples. Last season he stole a career-high 19 bases.
A reporter asked, Do you still have wheels?
I dont know, he replied. You want to race a little bit?
He clearly has a sense of humor, plus a love for the game.
I go out there to have fun, Hudson said. Were blessed to play a kids game and make money. So why not go out and enjoy the blessing that God gave you. Ill bring that energy everyday.