photo: Dakota Hudson (David Dermer/Imagn)
St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Dakota Hudson will undergo Tommy John surgery, disclosed President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak on Sunday.
Hudson was placed on the 10-day injured list on September 18 with what was characterized as a forearm strain. At the time, the right-hander neither heard a pop nor felt burning in his elbow, causing some initial optimism. However, further testing drove his move to the 45-man IL on Tuesday and a second opinion confirmed the need for the surgery, to be conducted by Dr. George Paletta on Monday in St. Louis.
Hudson’s recovery time was placed in the nine to 15 months window, per Mozeliak, depending on the pitcher’s recovery. Given this, he could miss all of 2021.
The 26-year-old placed fifth in the 2019 National League Rookie of the Year voting after leading the league in ground ball percentage, coupled with a 16-7 record and a 3.35 ERA. Hudson further cut down on his walks in 2020, and posted a sparkling 2.77 ERA and 1.00 WHIP in eight starts.
Immediate replacements (for Hudson and rotation-mate Carlos Martinez, who is also out for the remainder of the season) are Daniel Ponce de Leon and Austin Gomber, essentially functioning as the team’s no. 4 and 5 starters.
Next season, even without Hudson, the Cardinals have numerous experienced rotation candidates, including Jack Flaherty, Kwang-Hyun Kim, Miles Mikolas, Martinez, Adam Wainwright (if the free agent returns), Gomber and Ponce de Leon. Alex Reyes and Genesis Cabrera are among starting wild cards.
Sunday roster moves
Because a day cannot pass in the 2020 season without at least one roster change…
Today we activated OF Austin Dean from the 10-day Injured List and optioned RHP Nabil Crismatt to our Alternate Training Site. pic.twitter.com/41pVvEPTpV
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) September 27, 2020
In all seriousness, this returns the Cardinals to a 14-14 pitcher-position player roster balance, which I expect will continue into the post-season.
My Wild Card Series roster predictions follow.
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