Notes: Hudson a lineup mainstay
Second baseman was taught to play through pain by elders
PHOENIX -- When D-backs manager Bob Melvin wants to take second baseman Orlando Hudson out of the lineup, he knows he's going to have a fight on his hands.
Stay in the lineup and out of the training room is what Hudson was taught by Carlos Delgado when the pair were in Toronto together.
Remembers Hudson, "Before I got to the big leagues and I was a young prospect, Delgado told me, 'You don't need to be in the training room, son. It ain't a place for you to be. You're an everyday player, I've heard a lot of good things about you. People are talking good about you. You've got to play with a little bit of pain.' I was like, 'Dang, my dad told me the same thing all the time.'"
So that's what Hudson does. He rolled his ankle in the first inning on Opening Day and refused to come out of the game. He's the lone D-backs player to have started every game this year.
"Play with pain," he said. "Pain shouldn't keep you from doing nothing. If something's broken or you're injured, that's a different story."
Hudson credits Delgado and Shannon Stewart for helping to make him the player he is today.
"I was blessed to have a couple of them in [Delgado] and Shannon Stewart," Hudson said. "They were like big brothers to me."
Hudson has tried to pass along some of those same lessons to the young players that dot the Arizona clubhouse. Sometimes that means chasing them from the trainer's room and telling them the same thing Delgado told him.
"You ain't done nothing in this game yet to be in the training room," he said. "Get your butt out of the training room and let your talent do the rest."
Tracy update: Third baseman Chad Tracy took some swings in the batting cage Friday, but is still unavailable as he deals with a strained left ribcage.
"We'll probably let it rest here for a couple of days and see where we are at the end of the series," Melvin said.
Scuffling: Infielder Alberto Callaspo has had a rough start to the season.
The 24-year-old entered Friday in an 0-for-19 skid and a 1-for-32 stretch.
"Just pressing a little bit," Melvin said of Callaspo. "This is a guy that for the most part could care less who's on the mound. He's a guy that's not a grinder on the scouting reports; he just looks for the ball and puts the barrel on it, and for the first time in a while he's having some struggles right and he's pressing like some of our guys. Are we going to give up on him? No. Do we think he's going to hit? Absolutely."
Streaking: It's been a rollercoaster year for the D-backs, who have had two six-game winning streaks and a five-game losing streak. Entering Friday, they had lost three straight.
"In baseball, one of the biggest things is confidence," Melvin said. "I think because of the volume of youth that we have I think that's why you're seeing the swings at times with us right now where we'll play a nice four or five games in a row and win some games and then we'll lose three or four. Because to an extent it could be because of the confidence swings. I'm not going to say that's not unexpected. We'd like to see a little more even keel and we will the farther we go along here."
Solid: Closer Jose Valverde's meltdown Thursday night aside, the D-backs bullpen particularly in the late innings has been a strength.
Arizona is 11-1 in games its lead after seven innings in large part because of the work of setup men Tony Pena and Brandon Lyon. Pena has a 1.56 ERA while Lyon checks in with a 1.38 mark.
Pena typically gets the call in the seventh with Lyon following in the eighth, before Valverde in the ninth. Pena and Lyon have been so good that Melvin hasn't had to worry about using lefty Doug Slaten to matchup against lefties in those innings because the two righties have been getting all hitters -- left or right -- out.
"We've been real confident that when we get to the seventh inning with a lead we're going to close it out," Melvin said.
Up next: The D-backs and Mets continue the series Saturday night at Chase Field with Brandon Webb facing off against Jorge Sosa. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 MST.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.