Hudson trying to break out of slump

June, 22, 2012
6/22/12
9:27
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHICAGO -- Chicago White Sox third baseman Orlando Hudson was hoping to step away from baseball during his day off on Thursday.

That didn’t happen.

“I was able to step away a little bit, but with my son at home, he wants to watch baseball all the time,” Hudson said prior to Friday’s game. “You can’t help but think about it.”


As of late, baseball has been a frustrating game for Hudson to think about and play. After initially providing a spark to the White Sox when he signed with the team last month, Hudson has since struggled at the plate and in the field in recent weeks.

Heading into play Friday, Hudson had one hit in his last 19 at-bats, and his average dropped to .167 with the White Sox. He’s also committed four errors in 56 chances at third base.

White Sox manager Robin Ventura gave Hudson Wednesday’s game off in hopes of recharging him.

“A couple days off is always good for anybody,” Hudson said. “They know I’ve been putting a lot of pressure on myself. This game isn’t easy. I got a lot of pressure. Coming to a new city, I want to perform. It’s a great fan base, great baseball fans, a good team. It’s a great clubhouse, the chemistry on the field.

“You know when you go anywhere new you just want everything to be right. Even though we’re not perfectly human, you want to make all the great plays, make all the routine plays, you want to get a hit every time somebody is on base. It’s just the nature of the beast. I’ve put that burden on my shoulders.”

Hudson hadn’t played third base in the majors prior to the joining the White Sox, but that never stopped him from placing high expectations on himself.

“When they asked me to sign and I turned down other teams and came here, I said I would play third base,” said Hudson, who has won four Gold Gloves at second base. “[White Sox general manager Ken Williams] didn’t say catch one ball out of 10 or whatever. I’m a big-league player. They want to me catch the ball and throw it and get the hits. It’s not going that way right now.”

Ventura has been understanding about Hudson’s struggles at third base.

“There are times when he’s at third that the game gets going fast because he’s not used to playing that position,” Ventura said. “It’s not easy the first time you are playing that position to be put over there at the major league level. Keeping him confident when he goes in there, he feels good about playing that position and putting him back in there. You do believe in him playing that position and figuring him out.”

What’s made it especially frustrating for Hudson is his offense has dipped with his defense.

“I’ve been in the game a long time,” Hudson said. “If I was at second base, I’d be like, it’s all good. When you’re not swinging and not playing good defense, it’s not a good combo. That gets you run out of town real quick. I definitely want to perform.”
Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Chris Sale
WINS ERA SO IP
10 1.88 122 110
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Abreu .305
HRJ. Abreu 31
RBIJ. Abreu 83
RJ. Abreu 56
OPSJ. Abreu .992
ERAC. Sale 1.88
SOC. Sale 122