Hudson only made seven starts coming off his surgery, which means, among other things, that the looking-at-players-and-making-subjective-judgements-type-people have a better idea about what to expect than looking-at-numbers-and-making-supposedly-objective-judgements-type-people like me. The Braves were obviously impressed, signing him to an extension. His seven starts were pretty good, four quality starts, one other in which he gave up two runs in 5 1/3, and just two poor starts, neither of them really that bad. He was on a pitch count, so he never went more than 93 pitches, limiting him to a maximum of seven innings (three times). His 3.61 ERA probably underrates how well he actually pitched.
With such a limited number of innings, I’m not too comfortable drawing conclusions, but the thing that stands out to me is that Hudson had an abnormally high hit rate, 10.4 per nine, a .295 BA allowed. He may have been pitching to contact a little because of the pitch counts, or he may have been easing up to get the ball over the plate because of the control problems pitchers have coming back from TJ surgery. Or he may have just been unlucky. Who knows?
The scouts say that Hudson was throwing harder than he was before the surgery. It’s not unprecedented, and his strikeout rate (sample size noted) was the highest since 2001. For the most part, he was basically the same pitcher he was before the surgery, which is a good thing.