Hudson will be 29 years old in September. After a relieving role in 2018, he became a starter for the Cardinals in 2019. Those five seasons have not gone as well as expected for a first-round draft choice who received votes for ROY.
He has had Tommy John surgery, other elbow issues, and neck issues. As recently as this year he had more neck issues. In five years he has only been able to start 70 games.
Recently it seems he has pitched much better. However, the stats show a different picture and it’s not nearly as good as we think. This year his FIP is 4.86. The league average (LA) this year is 4.37. WHIP is 1.405 and LA is 1.33. Strikeouts to walks is 2.0 and LA is 2.57.
If you look at the Fangraphs projection over the next 3 years, ZIPS is expecting his production to be relatively flat.
He has so much talent that it will be hard to let him go. It’s quite possible as soon as he gets traded his health improves and he finds one more pitch and becomes the next pitcher that we blame MO for trading. Right now, the numbers don’t back that up. The Cardinals have gotten to the spot they are in right now by having too many average or below-average pitchers. It’s time to pivot from pitchers like Hudson and find someone with the potential upside Hudson had as a rookie.