At one point in the season the St. Louis Cardinals pitching rotation was depleted and the morale was low, but now, it is the best it has been all season. We have four very quality arms as of now, but there is one guy struggling. It may be time to boot Dakota Hudson out of the starting rotation.
Dakota Hudson has never been an electric arm, but he has got the job done. In a season with veterans who are walking away from the game forever, you have to do whatever it takes to win. For that to happen, Dakota Hudson should be out of the rotation.
Dakota Hudson’s Play in 2022
Dakota Hudson has been on thin-ice for some time now, and his last straw may have been against the Cincinnati Reds August 30.
The 27-year-old RHP is 7-7 in 2022 with a 4.43 ERA, 1.42 WHIP and 72 strikeouts through 126.0 IP. Opponents hit .267 against him, and his ERA has gone up every single month of the season. His 2022 campaign started out promising, but the tides have changed quickly, and he has nobody to blame but himself.
As a pitch-to-contact guy like Dakota Hudson is, you have to keep the walks down, but he has failed to do so. On top of that, he just allowed five earned runs against the Reds and gave up a homer to former Cardinal, Austin Romine. 2022 has been the worst season of Hudson’s five-year MLB career.
Dakota Hudson just does not look like himself out there on the hill anymore. He has the highest WHIP and H/9 and the lowest K/9 of his career. The Cardinals have a lot of options, and Dakota Hudson is in jeopardy of losing his starting spot.
Options to Replace Hudson
Do you remember that pretty good St. Louis Cardinals pitcher in 2019? His name was Jack Flaherty, and he is set to return to the big leagues on Labor Day. For the kids out there, that is September 5. The significance of that date is that Dakota Hudson would have been the probable pitcher.
Flaherty is making a rehab start as this is being typed, and his first start will be against the Washington Nationals. As he will be going up against the Washington Nationals, it will hopefully build some confidence and command he has seemingly been lacking all season.
Option No. 2 is the rookie, Andre Pallante. The California native has been a gem for the Cardinals this season. He has a 2.96 ERA, 1.336 WHIP and 68 strikeouts through 94.1 IP. Pallante has thrived in the long bullpen outings, but he has been no slouch as a starter either.
Of course, you can always leave Hudson in the starting rotation for the rest of the season in hopes he builds confidence. It is highly unlikely he will be a starter in the playoffs, so will it really hurt that much to leave him in?
The best bet would be to give the spot to Flaherty who is hopefully finally healthy enough to atleast give us 80% of what he has. Hudson would thrive in a Pallante-like position out of the pen, and that very well might be where he belongs.