Speaking of internal options for the Cardinals' number-five starter next season, Dakota Hudson has played his way into the competition for that spot in the 2024 rotation, but he has by no means secured that spot for himself.
Honestly, until Hudson's recent play, it was likely that St. Louis would non-tender him this offseason, rather than paying him over $3 million to be a failing Triple-A starter. There is still a chance that happens with the amount of depth the Cardinals have at Triple-A right now when it comes to starting pitching, but for now, he's now a contender for their staff in 2024.
Hudson's last two starts are where things have really progressed for him. Against the Twins on August 2nd, Hudson pitched seven innings, allowing three runs on two hits with three walks and striking out seven batters in the process. On August 9th against the Rays, Hudson went five innings, allowing three runs on seven hits, one walk, and two strikeouts. He probably could have gone another inning or two based on his low pitch count as well.
Again, he's not viewed as a guarantee for the rotation by any means, and he may not even be the internal frontrunner for the number five spot either. But it is encouraging to see his results as of late, and he's definitely got the Cardinals' attention now.