X-rays taken Thursday showed no structural damage, but Hudson went for an MRI on Friday that showed the strain. President of baseball operations John Mozeliak spoke with the media before the move was made on Friday but acknowledged it would be hard for Hudson to return with only 10 days left in the regular season. Mozeliak described Hudson’s injury as a “flexor tendon issue,” which is similar to what put Miles Mikolas on the 45-day IL earlier this season.
In a corresponding move, right-hander Nabil Crismatt was added to the active roster. He was in Pittsburgh with the Cardinals on the taxi squad, so he was immediately available for Friday’s doubleheader.
The Cardinals made another move prior to putting Hudson on the IL: Promoting their top prospect, outfielder Dylan Carlson, and optioning infielder Max Schrock. It is Carlson’s second stint on the Major League roster this season, and Mozeliak said the team plans for the switch-hitter to “get a lot of at-bats, especially as we play here in Pittsburgh this weekend.”
“Met with him yesterday, just told him to take a deep breath, don’t put the weight of the world on your shoulders and go have some fun,” Mozeliak said.
Carlson struggled when he came up in August, hitting .162 in 23 games and striking out 23 times in 74 at-bats. The Cardinals hope that the mental and physical reset he received at the alternate training site in Springfield, Mo., will help him over the next week.
“Just get back to what anchors you to get to this level,” manager Mike Shildt said on what Carlson worked on in Springfield. “We talked through that, and the staff thought through it, and there’s a lot of different ways we can show a player what that looks like. But most importantly, it’s Dylan being able to understand it and anchor to what makes him successful.”
Cardinals downsize on baseball and business side
The Cardinals are making staff reductions both within the baseball operations department and the business side of the organization, Mozeliak confirmed Friday, referring often to the “uncertainty” ahead for this offseason and next year around baseball.
Mozeliak did not disclose the number of people not being retained in his department but said that there are as many as 12 coaching positions in the Minor Leagues that will not be renewed, as well as one full-time scout. Other part-time employees will not return. The Cardinals Core program -- designed as part of leadership development for Minor Leaguers -- is being put “on pause,” Mozeliak said, meaning that staff will likely not be back for the 2021 season.
“One of the things that we are very proud of is the fact that we didn’t have any furloughs in 2020, and we didn’t ask anybody to take a payroll reduction,” Mozeliak said. “As we were looking at what 2021 was looking like, we needed to right size this. Even though these are difficult decisions, we felt like we had to position ourselves for an efficient model, as well as a successful model, even with all these questions that still are unanswered. We’re trying to adjust and adapt as we go.”
Mozeliak said the Cardinals have not addressed any potential Major League coaching reductions, waiting until after the season to make those decisions. St. Louis will also look to restructure its scouting model to optimize both professional and amateur scouts, even with the unknowns of the high school, college and Minor League baseball seasons. Mozeliak said that the Cardinals looked at areas that have seen the most growth over the past few years to downsize again.
“Over the last 10 years, we’ve probably seen anywhere from 3 to 5 percent growth each year,” Mozeliak said. “Obviously, when you’re in a pre-COVID business environment, that was doable. With all the uncertainty moving forward in 2021 and trying to understand what revenues may or may not look like, it’s very difficult from a planning standpoint.”
• Dexter Fowler is on pace to join the Cardinals in Kansas City early next week if he continues to recover well from his workouts at Busch Stadium. Fowler is on the injured list because of immune-suppressing medication he’s taking for a stomach ailment, and the Cardinals have said that the medication is working. The next step is to ease him off or lower the dose before he rejoins the team. Mozeliak said he hopes to know more about Fowler’s potential return by Sunday.
• John Gant has been throwing consistently but has not pitched since he exited last Sunday’s game with right groin soreness. Shildt said the Cardinals will determine whether Gant can pitch in Friday’s doubleheader after the relievers stretch and warm up.
• The Cards are planning a full bullpen session for Giovanny Gallegos (right groin strain) in the coming days to determine if he can return before the end of the regular season.