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Surgery survivors post top comebacks

NEW YORK — RHP Tim Hudson and LHP Francisco Liriano know what it's like to have elbow ligament replacement surgery. They know how much work it takes to return to the mound and be successful.

Now they have something else in common: the comeback player of the year award.

Hudson won the NL honor Tuesday after leading the Braves to the wild card, and Liriano grabbed the AL award with a consistent season that helped the Twins win the Central division.

The awards were voted on by the 30 beat writers of Cardinals RHP Chris Carpenter and Blue Jays 2B Aaron Hill were last year's winners.

Hudson, 35, had elbow ligament replacement surgery in 2008 and was limited to seven starts the next season. This season he went 17-9 with a 2.83 ERA, making him a contender for the Cy Young Award.

Hudson led Atlanta in wins and innings (2282/3) and was second on the team with 139 strikeouts. The 17 victories were his most since he won 18 for Oakland in 2001.

Liriano, 26, was 14-10 with a 3.62 ERA for Minnesota this season and will start Game 1 of the AL division series against the Yankees tonight night. He missed the 2007 season after having the operation known as Tommy John surgery and was limited by injuries the past two years.

Liriano set career highs for wins, starts (31), innings (1912/3) and strikeouts (201).

"He took an unbelievable step," said Twins CF Denard Span, the former Tampa Catholic standout. "I think everyone saw it the first month of the season when he came out and he was arguably one of the best pitchers in the league. He pretty much maintained that throughout the whole season. "

JAPAN RECORD: Former major-league OF Matt Murton broke Ichiro Suzuki's record for hits in a season in Japanese Professional Baseball. Murton got his 211th hit with a two-run single to center in the second inning for the Hanshin Tigers against the Yakult Swallows. Ichiro set the record of 210 in 1994 for the Orix BlueWave, when the regular season was 130 games long. Since then, the season has been extended by 14 games.

MEDIA AWARD: Tim McCarver, Rene Cardenas, and Jacques Doucet are among the 10 nominees for the Ford C. Frick Award. Also nominated for the award, presented annually for excellence in baseball broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, are Dizzy Dean, Tom Cheek, Graham McNamee, Bill King, Ned Martin, Eric Nadel and Dave Van Horne. The winner will be announced Dec. 7.

ANGELS: Minor-league pitcher Jordany Gomez was suspended for 50 games under baseball's minor-league drug program after testing positive for the performance-enhancing substances Phentermine and Mephentermine. Gomez, who was with the Dominican Summer League team, will serve the penalty at the start of next season.

BLUE JAYS: Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell could be on a short list of candidates to succeed Cito Gaston as manager, CSN New England reported. Farrell, Boston's pitching coach since 2007, was pursued by the Pirates in 2007 and the Mariners after 2008 but declined to interview both times.

PADRES: General manager Jed Hoyer said the team will not exercise its $8.5 million option on RHP Chris Young for 2011. Young, 31, missed most of the season with shoulder problems.

PIRATES: Former Indians manager Eric Wedge was the first person to interview to replace John Russell, who was fired Monday. Wedge was 561-573 in seven seasons with Cleveland and was AL manager of the year in 2007. Former Brewers, Tigers and Astros manager Phil Garner is also expected to interview.

ROCKIES: The team exercised its mutual $2.5 million option on C Miguel Olivo for 2011. Olivo can decline and become a free agent.

Surgery survivors post top comebacks 10/05/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 5, 2010 7:02pm]
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