Cardinals Option Dakota Hudson and Matthew Liberatore Dropping Camp Total to 41



JUPITER, Fla., March 21, 2023 – The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have optioned pitchers Dakota Hudson and Matthew Liberatore to the Memphis (AAA) roster, reducing the number of the players on the Spring Training camp roster to 41.

Today’s transactions leave 31 Major League roster players and 10 non-roster invitees on the Spring Training camp roster.

— STL —

And now things start to get interesting.

Liberatore was kind of a given; he struggled last season in his debut and needs to continue to refine his pitches. He looked good this spring, so he’ll probably be the first in line for a callup.

Hudson is the interesting case. He was a rotation mainstay in 2019 and pitched pretty well; the numbers look better if you avoid looking at this league-leading 86 walks. The shortened 2020 looked like he was really breaking out; he cut back on his walks and hits while increasing his strikeouts…until his elbow gave out and he missed the end of the season and almost all of 2021 (2 appearances) because of Tommy John surgery.

His return to the rotations in 2022 was a mixed bag; he started strong, but walks and hits took a jump while his strikeouts fell. He was bumped from the rotation when the Cardinals acquired Jordan Montgomery and Jose Quintana; without this switch, the team wouldn’t have made the post-season.

Coming into camp, he was an outside shot to make the rotation; Adam Wainwright, Miles Mikolas, Montgomery, Jack Flaherty, and Steven Matz were pretty much expected to be the starting 5. His spring didn’t help his case. He’s allowed 17 hits and 4 walks in 8.2 innings against 7.8 OppQual (Opponent Quality, meaning he faced borderline AAA player quality). He’ll go to Memphis to work on control, which is typically somethings pitchers need to work on after TJ surgery.

Jordan Walker and Masyn Winn both get to see another day of camp. Winn’s shot of joining the team up north got a bump when the team announced Paul DeJong would start the season on the IL; it’s more likely that Winn goes down and the team keeps both Juan Yepez and Alec Burleson on the roster while Tommy Edman, Brendan Donovan, and Nolan Gorman timeshare the middle infield.

DeJong’s battled various back injuries during camp and hasn’t seen a lot of time in the field. At this point, they are just delaying the inevitable DFA.

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