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Injured Hudson throws in bullpen for first time since joining Giants

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Tim Hudson stretched a bit, pawed at the dirt with his foot, and took a few warm-up tosses. He was ready to go.

The newest member of the San Francisco Giants' rotation had thrown three bullpen sessions since he sustained a severe injury to his right ankle last season while with the Atlanta Braves, but none were as significant as this.

This was his first official turn on the bullpen mound, and the audience was of greater importance, notably Giants manager Bruce Bochy and trainer Dave Groeschner.

Hudson was the third pitcher to work on this particular mound on Sunday, following fellow right-handers Ryan Vogelsong and Tim Lincecum. Buster Posey caught the three pitchers, who all worked out of the stretch.

The 38-year-old Hudson threw about 30 pitches and appeared to have no difficulties. He said he felt good.

"I feel like I'm the same as far as throwing goes. It's all a process," he said. "I didn't think about the ankle. The only time I really notice it on occasion during the side to side (movements during conditioning)."

Hudson usually works the lower part of the strike zone, and some pitches were a bit lower than he liked.

"You don't want to be making your best pitches right away," Hudson said.

Working with Posey was enjoyable, and he expects things to be even better as the spring rolls along.

"Buster, he's a pro, one of the best on offence and defence," Hudson said. "We were working out in the weight room the other day, talking about pitching philosophy. He was asking how I do things, how I tick, and I was asking how he calls a game."

Posey said Hudson "looked good," and he is looking forward to working together.

"He had a smooth, easy delivery, the same I've seen over the years," Bochy said. "I don't see him changing anything."

Bochy added that he expects Hudson to continue to make progress toward his first Cactus League start.

"If we have to delay it, we will," Bochy said. "We will do what we can to help him avoid having a setback."

NOTES: Lincecum also looked strong, popping Posey's mitt with regularity. "I went by how I felt today, and I felt good out there," said Lincecum, who signed a two-year, $35 million contract during the off-season. He threw on a regular basis over the winter back home in Seattle. He rented out space in a warehouse, rented a portable mound, and used a few friends as catchers. Bochy said Lincecum was eager to get going, "like a horse out of the barn." ... Bochy didn't use long relievers much early in his managerial career, but over time has realized their importance. He will have a long man this season, and it doesn't matter if it is a righty or lefty. "It's who fits in best, who competes," he said. ... The bullpen session of rookie non-roster invitee Derek Law also caught Bochy's eye. Law pitched in the Arizona Fall League in 2013.

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