SAN FRANCISCO -- Second baseman Orlando Hudson was in good spirits Monday after undergoing surgery to repair torn ligaments in his left thumb in Phoenix. "Everything went well from what we heard," said D-backs manager Bob Melvin, who spoke briefly with Hudson by phone. "He was going to take a little nap before he watches the game." Assistant general manager Peter Woodfork said that the doctors found a complete tear of the ligament, which meant Hudson made the right decision to have the surgery immediately.
Hudson will not be able to resume activity for another eight weeks, but the club expects him to be ready in plenty of time for the start of Spring Training next year. When he spoke with Melvin, Hudson tried to convince the skipper that he could join the team Friday in Los Angeles, but Melvin told him to wait until they return to Phoenix. Speaking of second base: Emilio Bonifacio got his first Major League start at second Monday night. Alberto Callaspo was supposed to get the majority of the playing time in Hudson's absence, but the hamstring injury that kept him out of the Triple-A lineup in August was apparently aggravated by playing nine innings Sunday. "Callo was a little bit sore after yesterday's game, and with the cold weather, we'll give him a day," Melvin said. Bonifacio, who was called up from Double-A Mobile earlier this month, found out he was starting and batting leadoff when he got to the ballpark and saw the lineup card. "I didn't want him sleeping on that one," Melvin said with a smile. Bonifacio called his father, Jose, in the Dominican Republic immediately after receiving the news. "'Just play your game; don't try to do too much,'" Bonifacio said his dad told him. "He just said, 'Enjoy the game.'" It was the second happy phone call that he shared with his father in the last week. When he was told he was being promoted to the big leagues, Bonifacio also phoned home. "I was so happy that I was crying," he said. "I called my dad and he was crying, too." Callaspo and veteran Augie Ojeda figure to get the bulk of playing time, but Melvin felt like it was a good night to give Bonifacio a start. "Not an easy pitcher to deal with," Melvin said of Giants starter Tim Lincecum. "But we were going to get him in there at some point, and today is the day." Progress: Third baseman Chad Tracy (right knee) swung the bat for the first time since being placed on the disabled list Aug. 15 as he took some soft toss in the team's batting cage. "Swing felt good," he said. "Knee felt good." Tracy will continue to hit soft toss and then take batting practice this weekend in Los Angeles. If all goes well, the D-backs would like to have him face some live pitching and are hopeful that Tracy would be able to play during the season's final couple of weeks. "Even if it's in a pinch-hit type role," Melvin said, "so we have another left-handed bat on the bench with some thunder and contribute any way he can, which he is chomping at the bit to do." Out: Melvin decided to give Jeff Salazar the start in right field Monday despite Justin Upton's big day at the plate Sunday. However, that plan changed when Salazar's left ankle, which he tweaked Saturday, acted up during batting practice, enough to where he had to be scratched in favor of Upton. "It was kind of a crapshoot with the two of them today," Melvin said. Mix and match: Conor Jackson and Tony Clark will each see time at first base down the stretch. "Depending on the matchup, both these guys are going to get their share of games," Melvin said. Up next: The D-backs square off against the Giants in the second game of this three-game set Tuesday night at AT&T Park with Edgar Gonzalez (7-2, 3.59 ERA) taking on Kevin Correia (4-6, 3.59).
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.