Dakota Hudson - The thought was in the off season was to transition him from the bullpen duty of 2018 to the rotation in 2019. It seemed he was ready for that his spring numbers
6G, 4 GS, 21 2/3IP, 15H, 3R, 6BB, 20SO, 1.25ERA, 0.969 WHIP
Unfortunately his regular season numbers look nothing like his spring numbers
4G 3Starts 13.1IP, 21H, 10R 9ER, 12BB, 13SO, 6.08 ERA, 8.28 FIP, 2.325 WHIP
26G 0Starts 27.1IP 19H, 9R, 9ER,18BB, 19SO, 2.63 ERA, 3.86 FIP, 1.354 WHIP
Truly a tale of two seasons last year coming out of the Bullpen he looked every bit the young stud arm we had heard about. This year he has yet to complete 5 innings in 3 starts. With his last start only lasting 3 2/3 innings.
His first start vs Milwaukee went 4 1/3 innings 7H, 3ER, 2BB, 3 HRs.
7 hits and 3 earned runs and a 3 to 1 K rate are not terrible but 4 1/3 IP with 3 HRs that is not good.
His next start vs Los Angles Dodgers
4 2/3 IP, 6H, 0ER, 4BB, 4SO The zero runs scored was great but leaving 5 1/3 Innings to the bullpen is bad and only a Krate of 1.
His last start vs Milwaukee
3 2/3 IP, 8H, 6ER, 3BB, 3SO and 2 HRs nothing good in this start at all.
With the Cardinals youth movement in the pitching staff with Flaherty, Hudson, Gant, Reyes, Hicks and Brebbia. The possibility that any or all would have difficulties should not be surprising. Flaherty has had some issues as well as Reyes who has since been sent to Memphis.
The question becomes how long do we wait to see if Hudson can right the ship?
Do the Cardinals have a time table for this?
With the inconsistencies of the rotation lately the problem may be who do you focus on. To me looking at Hudson's would be my first priority. Flaherty, Wacha, Mikolas and even Wainwright have shown they can have good games and pitch well. Hudson's inability to get past the 5th inning is concerning and needs to be addressed.
The cardinals have definite options
First is right there on staff in John Gant and the recently called up Ryan Helsley. Gant pitched very effectively last year as a starter and could be called on for that roll again. Although the roll they want for Gant is one of flexibility. Single innings, Multiple innings and an occasional spot start.
Second they also have Gomber and Poncedeleon as well. Gomber also put in significant time last year as a starter. Pocedeleon not as much he is 2-0 in 3 starts with a 2.68 ERA a WHIP of 1.44 and a 2-1 Krate for Memphis. Gomber is 1-0 in 3 starts 4.70 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and a 4-1 Krate.
Third If they want to preserve the young arms Dallas Keuchel is still a free agent But how soon he could get into game shape would be the question if a deal could be reached to bring him to St. Louis.
My feeling is they will give Hudson 1 more start to try and get himself right before looking at options. I also feel they will look to Gant initially to take a start or two before making a permanent move.
I don't see going after Keuchel given the Holland debacle last year UNLESS they can be convinced Keuchel would be ready to go and be effective. The desire will be to make Hudson a starter. However unless the other 4 members settle into consistency Hudson may be starting in the minors. The Cardinals can ill afford to have more than1starter be inconsistent for a very long stretch.
That is my opinion what's yours
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