Reliever Dodgers lost in tiny trade with Brewers is crushing it in Milwaukee

San Diego Padres v Milwaukee Brewers
San Diego Padres v Milwaukee Brewers / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

The name Bryan Hudson is one that even the most plugged-in Dodgers fans probably won't remember — or, if they do, they don't look back on it with fondness. There's very little reason they should; Hudson only pitched a little less than nine innings out of the Dodgers' bullpen last season, and he got shelled in those appearances, giving up 12 hits, seven runs, and four walks over six games In five of those contests, he finished blowouts in either direction.

He was DFA'ed by the Dodgers in late December then traded to the Brewers in a micro-exchange for minor leaguer Justin Chambers in early January.

That should've been the end of the story for Hudson, but like a few other players the Dodgers have sent to the NL Central, it isn't. Instead, he performed well enough in spring training to earn a spot on the Opening Day roster and has been absolutely dominating out of Milwaukee's bullpen since. Over 11 2/3 innings so far, he's only given up five hits and a single run for an 0.77 ERA. Maybe the Dodgers' pitching staff aren't the only ones gifted with pitcher recovery sorcery.

Short-lived Dodgers reliever Bryan Hudson is finding an unlikely second life with the Brewers

Hudson got his first career win on Sunday, when he pitched 2 1/3 hitless innings against the Cardinals and threw four strikeouts on top for good measure. He's been versatile for the Brewers' bullpen as a middle reliever and one-time setup man, pitching anywhere from 1/3 inning to three innings so far. His sweeper, responsible for seven of 12 strikeouts on the season, has been devastating; not a single hitter has made contact with it in the 40 times he's thrown it. It has also a 47.4% whiff rate.

He threw all of the same pitches last season (four seamer, cutter, sweeper), but all three were demolished by hitters. Something has seemed to click with those secondary pitches this season, though, because he's throwing them more often while yielding devastating results.

Like sending Michael Busch to the Cubs because he wouldn't have gotten playing time in LA and then watching him hit home runs in five consecutive games, Hudson doing well with the Brewers stings, but it might sting even more because the Dodgers weren't able to pull his clear potential out of him the way Milwaukee swiftly has.