The St. Louis Cardinals have been at the mercy of injuries, but is there enough time to get the original starters back?
The St. Louis Cardinals have had a rough go throughout the season in terms of injuries. Since the beginning of the season, the Cardinals have had Jack Flaherty, Carlos Martinez, Dakota Hudson, Kwang Hyun-Kim, Jordan Hicks, Daniel Ponce de Leon, Andrew Miller, and Miles Mikolas all go on the IL.
However, after recent developments, the Cardinals could see their predicted original starting rotation for the final parts of the season.
After doing some research over the All-Star break on some of the pitchers who are still currently on the IL, it is appearing that they have some big names not that far away. The updates that I’ve read on Jack Flaherty, Miles Mikolas, and Dakota Hudson puts belief in me that they could be back prior to September.
The St. Louis Cardinals star got hurt May 31 in which he ended up leaving the game against the Dodgers after five innings. It was originally listed as ‘left side tightness’ that quickly escalated to ‘significant oblique strain.’ However, there is good news for Cardinals fans as of July 16th, 2021 it was reported that Flaherty was back to throwing bullpen sessions. It was reported in mid-June that he was resuming “very light catch”, but the fact that he has progressed to mound work, shows he is taking steps in the right direction.
Flaherty prior to getting hurt was having an incredible season as the Cardinals ace. Flaherty had a record of 8-1 with 67 strikeouts in 62.0 innings work. While averaging more than a strikeout an inning, he also had a 2.90 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP, and only allowed 20 walks in 11 starts. Flaherty was having a great season for the Cardinals before going down which hurt the Cardinals majorly. Flaherty going down gave the Cardinals a lot of trouble with trying to find an ace or just a pitcher that didn’t walk a batter or two an inning. Flaherty being back on a mound gives the Cardinals hope going into September if they can just hold on.
Miles Mikolas has been a guy all Cardinals fans have been expecting and hoping could be back this season. After missing all of last season, the Cardinals starter was looking to bounce back and be a big part of the Cardinals rotation this season before experiencing a setback prior to Spring Training. Mikolas later ended up making his way back for a singular start before coming out due to forearm tightness. However, bearing any setbacks, he could be close to a return.
It was reported July 17th by Katie Woo of The Athletic, that Mikolas is set to throw one more bullpen session before heading out on a rehab assignment. Mikolas due to his injury history will likely see an extensive rehab assignment. Mikolas could be a big part of the Cardinals in the playoffs if they can have a good second half of the season.
He was the Cardinals ace in 2019 and had a statistical decline that left Cardinals fans wondering if he was a one-season wonder or if he just had a bad season. However, regardless of his decline, being able to get Mikolas back in the rotation and healthy may not matter this season but could be a big win for next season.
This is going to be the most fun person to possibly see back in the rotation! The Cardinals have had a rough go of injuries this season, but the one guy we haven’t seen at all this year is, Dakota Hudson. After having to get Tommy John Surgery in late September last season he is now officially throwing again.
Looking at this point in time, Hudson announced Monday that he has resumed facing hitters at the Cardinals training facility. Hudson in 2020 pitched in eight games that lead to a record of 3-2. In his 39.0 innings work he hosted a 2.77 ERA, 1.00 WHIP with 31 strikeouts and 15 walks.
Although Hudson had about a 2:1 strikeout to walk ratio, has the ability to still be a very viable option for the Cardinals and in all honesty, can’t be much worse than who they have tried at the starting position this season. Getting Hudson back in the rotation could be a big deal for the Cardinals as they look for a final push to get into the playoffs.
The Cardinals could be out of the running for now, but when they have the ability to add in Jack Flaherty, Miles Mikolas, and Dakota Hudson in the rotation could be the final push they need in order to get into the playoffs.