After a woeful start on Sunday, is Dakota Hudson's time in St. Louis over?
The St. Louis Cardinals have had one of the most exciting Spring Trainings in recent memory with competition everywhere on the field. Roster spots are not guaranteed unless your names are Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt. We have seen many players taking this seriously and making a case as to why they deserved to be riding in the back of a red pickup truck on opening day. One player that is showing the complete opposite is Dakota Hudson. Is his time in STL coming to an end?
Dakota Hudson made his third start this past weekend and it was an ugly outing. Hudson went 3.2 IP allowing 10 hits and 5 runs, walked 2 batters, and only struck out 2. This kind of production would have the bullpen warming up if it was the regular season. Given the spring training atmosphere, Marmol gave him multiple innings to work out the issues and get back on track with his approach. The only issue is Hudson did not have anything to offer.
Hudson’s velocity is noticeably lower this spring, with his sinker averaging a 91 MPH speed. This time last year, it was a 92.9 MPH pitch. This issue is concerning enough to have Marmol and Dusty Blake meet with Hudosn soon to discuss the matter. If this issue was for one outing and then corrected itself, it would not be alarming. But Hudson has looked rough all spring. In three outings. He has pitched 8.2 innings with a 6.23 ERA and a 2.42 WHIP and only 3 strikeouts. Lack of velocity, lack of strikeouts, and abundance of hits allowed and walks allowed are all red flags going into the regular season.
Does the team have any other options to replace Hudson? Zack Thompson has looked really good so far in camp but is competing for the LHP bullpen spot. Jake Woodford seems to be the most legit candidate to be the swing starter but has never pitched more than 70 innings in a season dating back to 2020. Maybe this is his chance to prove to himself that he can be just as good with volume. In 3 more innings pitched this spring, Woodford has a 2.84 ERA, 0.947 WHIP, 11 SO, and only 4 BB. Another candidate is Drew Verhagen, who has looked strong in 5 innings pitched.
The final week of Spring Training 2023 is upon us, and we are already seeing players moved to Minor League camp to prepare for the final Major League roster heading back to St Louis. Will Dakota Hudson be on the team bus to St Louis? Or will he have a closed-door meeting with Mozeliak and Marmol to talk about his future with the organization?