MIAMI — There is good news about Daniel Hudson’s knee – the left one.
“Feels really good,” he said with an ironic chuckle.
The veteran reliever had surgery on his left knee to repair a torn ACL last year. It’s his right knee now that is the problem. Hudson suffered a sprained MCL in his third game after returning to the majors in July.
Hudson is on this road trip with the Dodgers, throwing in the outfield and has even thrown “a couple bullpens.” He might throw to hitters at some point next week. But he’s doing it all with his right knee heavily taped and covered in a brace.
Ask Hudson how he’s doing and the tone in his voice tells more than the actual words.
“It feels … I don’t know,” he said.
“I’m just trying to keep my arm going just in case things turn a corner. Trying to get as much done as I can. Keep hammering away at it. … But right now it’s just kind of staying the same.”
Hudson hasn’t given up on the dream of returning to pitch this season, saying he remains “hopeful and optimistic … but I’m trying to be realistic at the same time.”
Realistically, he won’t be pitching again this season.
“We’re running out of days,” he said. “We’ll see. I’m doing everything I can.”
Miguel Rojas was so excited for the Dodgers’ series in Miami this week that he booked a redeye flight after Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Braves, arriving early Monday morning ahead of his teammates so he could have the full day with his family.
“I’m going to have the chance to take my son to school for three days,” Rojas said of the highlight for him.
The 34-year-old shortstop, who spent eight seasons with the Marlins, said he hadn’t been back to LoanDepot Park since the day he learned he was traded to the Dodgers. He got the news on Jan. 11 while he was checking in with the Marlins’ team trainers to monitor his progress from offseason wrist surgery.
Rojas kept his 8-year-old son in his local school when the new season began. He was among the “40 to 50” ticket requests Rojas filled for the three-game series. The Marlins played a video tribute to Rojas during Tuesday’s game, heavy on clips of Rojas doing work in the community.
Rojas said he holds no hard feelings toward the front office that traded him only eight months ago.
“I feel like I’m in a great place right now,” he said. “I’m enjoying this season as much as I’ve enjoyed baseball in my life. I have the worst career offensive numbers of my life but I’m having more fun than ever. It’s not about me. It’s about helping the team win.”
A .265 hitter during his time with the Marlins, Rojas is batting .223 in 106 games for the Dodgers this season.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts joked that J.D. Martinez “finally threw out a hit in his last at-bat” for Triple-A Oklahoma City on Wednesday night so he’s ready to rejoin the Dodgers.
Martinez was 1 for 8 in two rehab games with OKC and Roberts said he expects Martinez to be in the Dodgers’ lineup Friday at Washington. Whether he can continue to play without a recurrence of the groin/hamstring issues that landed him on the injured list remains to be seen.
“I think that we’re all pretty confident. Hopeful and confident, I guess,” Roberts said. “But I think where we’re at right now – if he’s not, it’s where we’re at. I think he knows that. We’ve done everything we can do. He’s got to be out there and post for us as we finish out the season.”
Roberts said the Dodgers will give Clayton Kershaw five days off between starts. The three-time Cy Young Award winner will go again on Monday against the San Diego Padres. Kershaw has not pitched on less than five days of rest since returning from a six-week stay on the IL with an unspecified shoulder injury.
That leaves the Dodgers without a starter for Sunday’s game against the Nationals.
Right-hander Michael Grove began a rehab assignment with OKC on Thursday. Grove has been out for more than a month with a strained lat muscle.
Dodgers (RHP Emmet Sheehan, 3-1, 5.31 ERA) at Nationals (LHP MacKenzie Gore, 7-10, 4.28 ERA), Friday, 4:05 p.m. SportsNet LA, 570 AM
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