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Hudson (forearm strain) weighs his next step

@anne__rogers
September 23, 2020

After being placed on the 45-day injured list on Tuesday, Cardinals pitcher Dakota Hudson’s season has ended, and the right-hander met Wednesday with the club’s head physician to determine possible treatments for the right forearm strain he sustained last week. Manager Mike Shildt said that after Hudson met with Dr.

After being placed on the 45-day injured list on Tuesday, Cardinals pitcher Dakota Hudson’s season has ended, and the right-hander met Wednesday with the club’s head physician to determine possible treatments for the right forearm strain he sustained last week.

Manager Mike Shildt said that after Hudson met with Dr. George Paletta, the pitcher planned to get a second opinion, which is not unusual, and further evaluation before determining a treatment plan. After that, the Cardinals likely will announce what comes next for Hudson.

The MRI taken after Hudson’s injury occurred made it clear that he wasn’t going to be able to pitch again this season or in the postseason, said Cards president of baseball operations John Mozeliak. Hudson’s injury is in the flexor tendon, which raises concern about his elbow.

“Our doctors have reviewed the MRI, but you still want to do the normal consultation,” Mozeliak said. “Until that happens, there are no decisions made for next steps. … Obviously, the fact that we’re ruling out the remainder of this year is saying something."

Putting Hudson, 26, on the 45-day IL opened a spot Tuesday on the 40-man roster to bring back reliever Kodi Whitley, who tested positive for COVID-19 in August, to return. To make room for Whitley on the active roster, the Cards optioned reliever Junior Fernández.

Whitley’s recovery was slowed by elbow soreness, but he threw on Saturday and received positive feedback. The rookie right-hander had two impressive training camps earlier this year, and the Cardinals hope he adds a fresh and effective arm to their bullpen down the stretch.

“He didn’t get to throw a ton when he was down in Springfield, but he was feeling good, so we’re encouraged about that from a physical standpoint,” Mozeliak said. “We really just want to see what he can do at this level."

Shildt will evaluate Whitley by slotting him into lower-leverage situations first. He pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings over two appearances in the first week of the regular season, with three strikeouts and no walks.

Fowler happy to be back and healthy again
With two hard-hit balls and a single in Monday's loss to the Royals, it was clear that Dexter Fowler tried not to miss a beat after three weeks on the injured list.

“I was excited,” Fowler said. “It was fun to get out there and see the boys. And just get in the clubhouse and laugh with the boys and joke with the guys. And just getting out there grinding again with them. It’s unfortunate I couldn't be out there soon, but I’m glad to finally get out there.”

Fowler had to take time off because of medicine he took for ulcerative colitis, a chronic disease involving the lining of the colon. Fowler said he has been battling it for 10 years, and when it flares up, he takes medication that in a normal year wouldn’t have made him miss time. But that medication can affect his immune system and could have made him more vulnerable to COVID-19.

“It was unfortunate, but at the end of the day, I think my health was more important,” Fowler said. “It wasn’t fun sitting on the couch watching the boys out in the trenches grinding. But I’m just glad to back and healthy again.”

Fowler had been dealing with stomach pain and depleted energy since the beginning of July, he said, and tried to work through it with different medication. Nothing was working until he took time off to take his current medication. He’s since cut gluten from his diet and kept track of what he’s eaten to get a sense of what helps him feel better.

“I didn’t have enough energy,” Fowler said. “Didn’t feel like myself. Obviously, waking up, still tired, wasn’t absorbing the food I was eating. So it was a bunch of stuff that I was going through, but I tried to mask it as much as I could. After you get on medication and then you come back, it’s like, ‘Man, I feel a heck of a lot better.’ It’s amazing what your body goes through and makes it feel like it’s normal.”

Salute to the Negro Leagues
The Cardinals and Royals wore St. Louis Stars and Kansas City Monarchs uniforms Tuesday in a Salute to the Negro Leagues. The Stars and Monarchs were two of the most prolific teams in the Negro Leagues -- the Stars won three Negro National League championships in their 10 years playing at Stars Park in St. Louis. This year is the 100th anniversary of the Negro National League’s founding.

“When you’re dealing with things that our nation is faced with right now, having dialogue or having the ability to talk about it is something that is certainly beneficial to everybody involved," Mozeliak said. "Obviously, with the Negro League Hall of Fame here in Kansas City, and the fact that Kansas City and St. Louis have a unique bond, I think the timing of it is ideal.”

Anne Rogers covers the Cardinals for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @anne__rogers and on Facebook.