Unfortunately for Orlando Hudson, for the second year in a row he'll be watching his teammates battle for a postseason berth from the bench.
An injury to his left wrist, which has required two surgeries, will keep the Gold Glove second baseman out of action for the rest of the season. Last year, he tore ligaments in his thumb and was forced to miss the final three-plus weeks of the season.
"It's part of the game," Hudson said. "It is in God's plan, that's the way it happens. That kind of stuff happens when you play hard, so I can't sit here and dwell on that."
The surgeries prevented Hudson from joining his teammates on the recent road trip, but he was there early Tuesday ready to encourage them in any way he could. During batting practice he walked around with a fungo bat and stood out at his second base position talking with Chris Burke while Burke took grounders.
"You know I'll be giving my teammates support, same deal as last year," he said. "I'm here to support my guys, have fun and see where we go."
Last year, Hudson dubbed himself the assistant manager and spent part of his time in the dugout next to manager Bob Melvin.
Hudson, who is never short on words, may have to plant himself somewhere else this year.
"There may be some ground rules this time as to where he can go and can't go in the dugout," Melvin said with a smile. "It's always nice to have him around. I think he gives us more than a guy on the disabled list would, whether it's moral support and keeping it loose and so forth. Or the little extra incentive and drive to go out there and try to win because of a guy like that going down, knowing that everybody has to pick it up a little bit and knowing what he means to this team."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.