CHICAGO -- The most relieved person with regard to the White Sox acquisition of Kevin Youkilis from Boston on June 24 was not general manager Ken Williams or manager Robin Ventura -- or any of the thousands of fans waiting for his arrival.
That unofficial honor went to veteran infielder Orlando Hudson, who played 25 games at third base after Brent Morel's back injury and the ineffectiveness of Eduardo Escobar and Brent Lillibridge at the position. It was not exactly a comfortable fit for the 11-year pro.
Hudson deserves a great deal of credit for taking on a position that he had never played at the Major League level and finding a decent level of defensive success, choosing to play third with a playoff contender such as the White Sox as opposed to joining a lesser team and getting a chance to flash his four-time Rawlings Gold Glove ability at second. Since Youkilis' acquisition, a second adjustment of dealing with life on the bench has come for Hudson.
Saturday's start at second base marked Hudson's second appearance of July -- and just his third since the Youkilis trade. But Hudson admittedly is enjoying life with the White Sox, even in the first true part-time role of his career.
"Anything beats the situation that I left," said Hudson, who was released by the Padres on May 17 and signed with the White Sox on May 22. "It's a great situation I'm in, and I'm enjoying it.
"It is kind of weird, but you know, life is about changes. This [was a change] for the good. Like my grandma told me, 'God is setting you up for something bigger. He's trying to humble you because you played every day of your whole career. Some days you fought the manager when he gave you days off and everybody had to play.'
"'Now, He has said it's time for you to sit down for a while. But He has something definitely down the path for you that definitely will be larger. It's a humbling moment for you.'"
Manager Robin Ventura said he would use Hudson again at third, although Escobar would be the first choice to back up Youkilis. Hudson wouldn't mind playing there after admitting that the original challenge got the best of him.
"I was scared to make a mistake," Hudson said. "Being the new guy, you don't want to make any mistakes. I was in my own head big time on defense, but it just didn't work out.
"If they need me to go out there, definitely I'll go out there. I'll do anything to help our team win a ballgame."