Cardinals right-hander Dakota Hudson left the team’s game against the Pirates early on Thursday with elbow tightness. He’ll undergo an MRI on Friday, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Hudson departed after throwing just two innings in another defeat for the Cardinals, who are 22-24 and fighting for a wild-card spot. Hudson has been an asset for the team, evidenced by his 2.77 ERA over 39 innings. It’s the third straight year in which he has defied fielding-independent numbers to post much better run prevention figures, evidenced by the 3.20 ERA and 4.72 FIP he has recorded over 239 innings since debuting in 2018. Hudson’s strikeout and walk rates (7.0 K/9 against 4.41 BB/9) haven’t been good, but he has offset those to some degree with a 57.4 groundball percentage.
At the very least, the Cardinals appear to have a legitimate MLB starter in Hudson, so the hope is that his elbow issue won’t stop him from pitching the rest of this year or cause him to miss time in 2021. The Cardinals may need all the rotation help they can get then with Hudson, Jack Flaherty and Kwang Hyun Kim seemingly the only members of their staff likely to start for the club then. They could also get Miles Mikolas back from surgery on a right flexor tendon, though, while it remains to be seen whether Adam Wainwright will continue his career in 2021.