OAKLAND, Calif. -- All those trade rumors that carry his name? Daniel Hudson has a way of dealing with that.
The reality that he is filling the shoes of a former Cy Young Award winner in the White Sox's rotation? He has been offered a way of coping with that, too.
The thought that Sunday's start at Oakland is key in showing that he deserves to stick around? That one isn't so easy to avoid.
"It's definitely big," Hudson said about his third start since being recalled to take the spot of the injured Jake Peavy. "Obviously nobody wants to take a step back. I just want to continue going in the right direction."
After a rough season debut in the final game of the first half, when he couldn't last five innings despite being handed a big lead, Hudson turned it around in his next outing at Seattle. He gave up one earned run over 6 2/3 innings against a Mariners lineup that does have some holes.
The A's should provide the ideal test. When Hudson made that first start of the season on July 11, it came against a Kansas City Royals offense with the best team batting average in the American League. His dominance over the Mariners was against the worst hitting team in the league.
Before the A's teed off against White Sox pitching on Saturday, they entered the game with the seventh-best team average (.261) in the 14-team American League.
"I think the difference is that when you are throwing strikes and challenging them and making them hit the ball, it's going to be easier," manager Ozzie Guillen said.
Hudson might be avoiding the newspapers, but Guillen hopes he saw what was written about Oakland's Friday starter, Trevor Cahill. The right-hander marveled at how White Sox starter Mark Buehrle controlled the game Friday night by getting ahead in the count.
Buehrle works faster than most, but Hudson said he found a tempo he liked in the game against the Mariners and the goal Sunday is to repeat that.
"I threw well around four walks [against the Mariners], but when you give teams four free baserunners it's not going to always work out like it did in Seattle," Hudson said. "Especially with good-hitting teams, they're going to make you pay for stuff so I have to work on that."
Young talent that has success is the goal of any organization, which is why teams want the White Sox to include Hudson in trade proposals.
"Hudson, I swear to God that I want this guy to be here and be the guy, because it will cost less money, we will have somebody for the future and we have somebody we can count on later," Guillen said. "I'm rooting for this kid."
Guillen and pitching coach Don Cooper already have sat Hudson down for some words of advice on how to cope with trade-deadline madness.
"They said 'Listen, there's going to be a lot of speculation going around about all kinds of stuff and we just want you to go out there and pitch like you know you can pitch. You're not trying to be Jake Peavy, you're trying to be Dan Hudson out there and that's all you need to do,'" Hudson said.
Doug Padilla covers the White Sox for ESPNChicago.com.