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Cardinals notebook: Hudson gets sent to Memphis, but will be back shortly

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Cardinals 5, Rockies 1

Cardinals starting pitcher Dakota Hudson watches from the dugout on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022, during a game against the Rockies at Busch Stadium.

In today’s 10 a.m. video, columnist Ben Hochman discusses the best (statistical) fielder in baseball, St. Louis’ Tommy Edman (who is hitting well of late). And, as always, Hochman picks a random St. Louis Cards card from the hat. Ten Hochman is presented by Window Nation!

Dakota Hudson lost his spot in the Cardinals starting rotation after his last outing, and on Monday, he lost his spot on the roster.

The Cardinals optioned Hudson to Memphis but plan to bring him back on Sept. 17 as their 27th player to pitch one of the games of the doubleheader that day against Cincinnati. Hudson gave up five runs in 4⅔ innings in his most recent start, also against Cincinnati. He’s gone past five innings just once in his past six starts.

Hudson will get two starts in with Memphis, the first one on Tuesday. He had been targeted to be the long man out of the bullpen with the Cardinals after losing his spot in the rotation.

“Our thoughts are his innings in the ’pen aren’t as meaningful as us continuing to have length for that start on the 17th,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. “(We want him) just to continue to build on what he was doing. He does a nice job when he has multiple pitches working for him, like anybody would, and he’s just fallen into a trap where one start the sinker’s on and he doesn’t have a feel for slider and when he’s getting good misses on the slider, he’s inconsistent with the sinker and he’s walking guys. So when both of those are working for him, then it’s a good day. So just the consistency of that. I think that’s easier to do getting two starts down there and being ready for the 17th than throwing three innings over the next 10 days here.”

Hudson, who missed the end of 2020 and most of 2021 after Tommy John surgery, was 7-7 with a 4.43 ERA this season. He had just one win in his past nine starts.

“He understood it, and he obviously would want to stay here,” Marmol said. “But he understood that that gives us our best chance of winning that game. And that can be a meaningful game. And we want our best chance and our best starter available to be able to take that, and we believe that that’s him. So it allows (Jake Woodford) to stay in our ’pen and get meaningful innings. It allows (James) Naile to stay in our ’pen and be the ground-ball guy. I think both of those guys fit a role that Dak would have had in our ’pen with getting ground balls, giving us multiple innings. But it sets us up for the 17th, so he understood it. I did express that things were heading in the right direction for him because they were, and he’s looking forward to providing the team what what’s needed on the 17th.”

Naile, recalled from Memphis on Thursday, would have been the other candidate. After not giving up a run in six innings over five games this season, he allowed a home run to Nationals catcher Keibert Ruiz in the seventh inning on Monday in his first appearance since his most recent callup. His ERA is now 1.13 this season.

Making more room

The Cardinals also had to create a spot for Flaherty on their 40-man roster, and they did that by designating pitcher Junior Fernandez for assignment. Fernandez has been with the Cardinals since 2019, appearing in 47 games over that span. He’s currently with Memphis, where he’s 1-3 with a 5.45 ERA with 43 strikeouts in 36 innings.

Report: Tigers interested in Cards exec

Matt Slater, the Cardinals’ special assistant to the general manager, player procurement, is reportedly among candidates getting serious consideration for the open general manager position with the Detroit Tigers, according to the Detroit News. Slater has been with the Cardinals for 15 years in personnel and scouting and has been heavily involved in the team’s efforts in Asia, which has brought in players such as Miles Mikolas, Kwang Hyun Kim and the team’s first Asian amateur signing, Won-Bin Cho, earlier this year. Prior to joining the Cardinals, Slater worked with the Dodgers and the Brewers.

The Tigers fired general manager Al Avila on Aug. 10. The News said the Tigers are expected to choose a new GM in the first half of September to begin a major retooling and that at this point, the search is still wide open.

Milestone for Molina

Yadier Molina made his 2,098th start at catcher, moving him past Carlton Fisk for second on the all-time list for starts at that position. Barring a change of heart, that’s where Molina will finish. The record holder is Ivan Rodriguez, with 2,346, and catching him would require Molina to play at least two more seasons.

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