Dodgers manager Dave Roberts tells reporters, including Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register, they are going to place right-hander Daniel Hudson on the injured list due to a sprained MCL in his right knee. Hudson missed significant time last year and this year due to a torn ACL, though that was in his left knee. Roberts says Hudson will miss “a significant amount of time” but they are “hopeful” he can return this season, per Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter links). Roberts tells Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times that Hudson will miss at least a month or two. The Dodgers subsequently announced the move and that Yency Almonte was placed on the paternity list with Nick Robertson and Alex Vesia recalled in corresponding moves.
It remains to be seen exactly how much time Hudson will miss but it’s undeniably a brutal blow. It was just over a year ago, June 24 of 2022, that Hudson tore the ACL in his left knee, which wiped out the remainder of his 2022 season. That injury kept him on the injured list for the first few months of this year, with the righty just being activated a week ago. He made three scoreless appearances for the club in the past week but is now facing yet another significant absence.
Prior to last year’s injury, Hudson was on pace to have one of his best seasons as a reliever. He had a 2.22 ERA through 25 appearances, striking out 30.9% of batters faced while walking just 5.2% and getting grounders on 53.4% of balls in play. Despite the injury, the Dodgers showed faith that Hudson would be able to come back and contribute in the future. In September of last year, they agreed to an extension, picking up their $6.5MM club option for 2023 while tacking on a 2024 option as well.
That option comes with a $6.5MM base and can reach $7.3MM based on appearances. The exact nature of those escalators aren’t known but it seems fair to conclude he won’t trigger any of them with his limited work this year. The club will then have to decide whether or not to trigger the option, which will undoubtedly be impacted by his health status as the season winds down.
For the club, this is yet another in an extensive series of injuries to their pitching staff. The starting rotation has Walker Buehler, Dustin May, Clayton Kershaw, Ryan Pepiot and Noah Syndergaard currently on the injured list, whereas the relief corps has lost Tyler Cyr, J.P. Feyereisen, Shelby Miller, Jimmy Nelson, Alex Reyes, Blake Treinen and now Hudson to the IL. Despite all those pitching injuries, the club is 48-38 and in possession of a National League Wild Card spot. President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman already admitted that the rash of injuries made it more likely the club will seek out pitching reinforcements at the upcoming trade deadline and Hudson’s injury would seemingly only increase those chances.